HOUSE OF THE WEEKmore
Govt car auctions drive market
GOVERNMENT auctions have dominated the car market this year, with seized and resold cars bringing prices down a number of times.
For buyers that’s translated to good news but for those holding cars as investments it hasn’t been the best of years.
Investment has instead gone into property and gold, said car dealers in Yangon last week.
One dealer at the Hantharwaddy car yard said sales have been down by 60 percent this year compared with 2008.
The government held more than 10 car auctions throughout the year in Lashio, Meikhtila, Myitkyina, Taunggyi, Yangon, Mandalay, Keng Tung and Tachileik. These auctions have released more than 2000 cut-price vehicles into the market place.
“The car market has been rubbish this year,” said Ko Aung Than, a dealer at Hantharwaddy, adding that he had only negotiated healthy sales in four months this year, compared with six months the year before.
Another dealer, U Maung Win, said that throughout January and February the market was stagnant and sales rare but the situation improved in March. He added that May through to July were relatively good for dealers and prices were moving back upward.
“At that time richer families were looking to buy cars in excess of K10 million in price for their children to drive to university,” he said.
That pushed prices up by as much as 10pc but it was a short-term increase that quickly abated, he said.
U Aung Kyaw Myint, another Hantharwaddy trader, attributed the poor sales environment to the impact of government auctions. He used the price of vans as an example.
“Before the car auction in Keng Tung in October, Toyota vans were selling for about K63 million each in Mandalay. But at the auction those vans sold for only K55 million,” he said.
Ko Thant Sin, a car salesman in Mandalay, said that city’s car markets have been cool all year as well, with prices down on previous years.
“Car trading is almost always better leading up to Thingyan in April and around Chinese New Year in previous year but not this year,” he said.
Nissan Super Saloon that sold last year for an average price of about K25 million were selling this year for K21 million, he added.