Automobile prices in the local car market are still steady with low volume of sales despite the current spike in import expenses, auto traders say.
Due to the recent steep fall of the local currency, kyat, against the US dollar and Japanese yen, import expenses has gone up several times than before, they say.
“The import expenses have gone up but the local automobile prices are not high. Currently, purchasers from other districts come to Yangon to buy 4-wheel drives and 660cc mini trucks. Some Yangonites buy cars below 1300cc. Although, some cars aren’t fetching any profit,” Dr Soe Tun, owner of Farmer Auto, said.
The local car prices vary in line with currency exchange rate, shipment fees and the fluctuation in the “replace old with new” slip price, said the car dealers.
“We have to spend a lot more money for imports now as kyat has fallen against the Japanese yen. For example, expense for importing a ¥-500,000 car comes to about ¥-130,000 after adding all the expenditures including shipment and port fee,” U Myo Aung, an automobile dealer, said.
Following the government’s move to liberalise import of automobiles, local car prices has slipped quite a bit. If ASEAN-made cars are allowed to be imported with reasonable tax, local automobile prices are set to see another plunge again, auto traders said.