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Used car dealer says high interest rates/devaluation hurting sector

Jamaica Observer 2019-06-12 11:33:22


Managing director of Rent-A-Car Caribbean and Tours Limited/Caribbean Auto Sales, Garnett Reid, is calling upon the Government to open up the importation licence to bring in 2010 motor vehicles.

Reid, a former director of the Used Car Dealers Association of Jamaica, says that consumers would be able to acquire cheaper motor vehicles and Government would be able to collect more taxes if the licence is opened up.

“It has become uneconomical for the Jamaican consumers to purchase motor vehicles from 2014 and beyond. Hundreds of dealers' car lots are packed and not moving. It has caused importers/dealers to come out of business, because of the high cost of overhead expenses — custom duty, taxes, payment to suppliers and Kingston Wharf — they just will not survive,” Reid said in a statement issued on Monday.

He said that due to high interest rates and the devaluation of the Jamaica dollar, a high number of car dealerships islandwide have seen sales drop over the last six months by approximately 60 per cent.

“I myself have not sold a car in three months, and I have to seek financial aid to pay suppliers, staff and overhead expenses. The used car industry is dead. Luckily, I have also the Rent-A-Car business where I rent motor vehicles. That is what is keeping my doors open,” Reid informed with a worried look on his face.

Reid noted in his statement that the used car industry pays the Government $4 billion annually in revenues.

“I am calling on the government to give us some help,” Reid stated.