Tax slows car sales
Government’s recent imposition of a 15 per cent excise tax on new automobiles is driving down car sales.
Speaking at the launch of the 2014 Toyota Yaris, Nassco Limited sales director Roger Moore said all local vehicle dealers were feeling the pinch of the measure from which Government hopes to raise $13.9 million as part of its fiscal adjustment strategy in the next year and a half.
He was speaking to the media at Cricket Legends, Fontabelle, St Michael.
Moore said while he expected the new Yaris to attract buyers like its predecessors did, there were unlikely to be as many buyers as before because the 15 per cent tax rate meant that the car’s price had increased by at least $6 000.
“We saw a reduction [in vehicle sales] from the first of September. That was when the 15 per cent [excise tax] came into effect. We had sold about 40 units in August and we went from 40 units in August to 19 in September, so you will see right away that the 15 per cent had a significant impact on our sales and the other distributors as well,” he said.
As for the price of the Yaris, he said the tax “made a big difference to the price”, increasing it from about $62 000 to $68 995.
Moore said Yaris was Nassco’s biggest seller for about six years consecutively, before the Toyota Rav 4 outsold it last year, but he expected a rebound.
“This new model is [targeted at] the younger generation so that’s why you see the type of styling and the design that it has. There were also some improvements with the engine,” he explained. (SC)