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Protecting local auto industry

July 16, 2012

THIS is apropos of the recent news concerning the so-called ‘inducements’ extended by the local car assemblers to ensure protection of their industry. The issue raised by the ‘well-wishing’ members of the National Assembly questioned the need for protection of the local auto industry and demanded that cars should be allowed to be imported from India.

The only beneficiaries of such requests will be the dealers who contribute nothing towards the economic output.

One would like to point out that allowing such requests to be granted will ultimately do more harm than good to the economy and will also serve as a severe blow to the domestic auto industry.

Local auto companies manufacture new vehicles that are sold at the same cost as the used vehicles that are imported from other countries. A strong auto sector that is providing employment opportunities and makes significant contribution to economic growth of a country is a key industry.

Already the leniency granted for the import of used cars due to lack of tariff barriers has flooded the market with cars that are much below standard. These cars are neither beneficial to the economy nor do they provide the customer with any advantages as they cost far more than their actual worth and end up being a liability due to their ever-rising maintenance costs.

The government should take initiatives to support and protect local industries.