Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Car sales centres to be standardised

In a further step to bring order to the world of car sales centres, the Yangon Supervisory Committee for Motor Vehicles has laid down standard rules to be applied during the course of this year, said committee spokesperson U Myint Cho.

A trishaw driver cycles past a Chevrolet showroom.(Thiri Lu / The Myanmar Times)A trishaw driver cycles past a Chevrolet showroom.(Thiri Lu / The Myanmar Times)

The move follows a survey of sales centres and car showrooms in three regions to assess how far they were complying with existing rules.

“At first, we decided a showroom must have a compound of 20,000 square feet, but some owners said it was difficult to find a space that size in Yangon. We decided on 14,000 sq ft for a showroom and 9000 sq ft for a sales centre,” he said.

Showrooms and sale centres must not contain residential accommodation, but may be attached to a warehouse, and there must be a gap of at least 1000 yards between centres.

The car showroom survey, conducted in Yangon, Bago and Ayeyarwady regions, examined four considerations: that the centre had a fixed location and displayed the vehicles in a systematic manner; that it kept accurate and complete debit and credit records, and had made at least 80 percent of its payments to foreign exporters; prompt payment of deposit; and prompt payment of all taxes.

A total of 47 companies failed to meet all the criteria, the committee said in state-owned media in March. Earlier this month, they were given 60 days to make the necessary changes.

“We are now checking to see if those companies have done everything necessary. Most have told us they will close. The main problem is centres that did not have a fixed location. If they do decide to close, they must inform us accordingly, or we will not only take action against them, but also keep their US$100,000 deposit,” said U Myint Cho.

Since January, the committee has been taking steps to standardise car showrooms and sales centres, ensuring closer adherence to the rules and more clearly defining monthly import restrictions.

“Myanmar Automobile Manufacturers and Distributors Association asked us to train showroom and sales centre staff. We did so, with help from officials from the Port Authority, customs, the tax office and the banks,” said U Myint Cho. The committee will now issue a training manual for new staff in an industry where few staff stay long enough to acquire experience.

There are 246 car sales centres across the country, including 184 in Yangon, which import used cars under a consignment system. Yangon also has 19 showrooms, selling new cars.