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Car prices continue downward slide

By Thike Zin
August 30 - September 5, 2010

This file photo shows cars for sale at the Hanthawaddy car market. Pic: Hein Latt Aung

CAR prices in Yangon and Mandalay continue to sag, traders say.
The latest reason given for the downward spiral of prices – following a spate of government auctions last year – is the decision by the government to licence unlicensed vehicles.

By some estimates, car prices have fallen by about 30 percent since the government decision came into effect on July 23, car market sources say.

A spokesperson for the Road Transport Administration Department (Yangon Division) told The Myanmar Times last week that owners of unlicensed cars who applied to register their vehicles could do so if they paid a one-off tax of 85pc based on its market price.

The assessment of the value of the car and the tax is made by officials from the Road Transport Administration Department, the police, Internal Revenue, Myanmar Economic Bank and customs officers.

“The car trade is cool. You can try to sell a 1997 Land Rover for K70 million that would previously have sold for K100 million but no one will touch it,” said U Aung Than Win, a dealer at the Hantharwaddy car trade zone in Yangon.

U Cho, another dealer, said that buyers were hanging back in the hope of further falls in price, and that dealers faced an uncertain future. The situation in Mandalay is the same, said U Thant Zin a car dealer based in Mandalay.

“Prices are falling and trade is cool because buyers are looking at unlicensed cars knowing they can get them registered. A 1990 Nissan Super Saloon worth K22 million is down to K19 million but people just aren’t buying,” he said.