Friday, May 30, 2008

Universal Investments defends bid for used car trading facility

Universal Investments defends bid for used car trading facility
By Kabanda Chulu
Friday May 30, 2008 [04:00]

SECOND-hand car dealers have appealed to the government to stop Universal Investments from establishing a used car trading facility in Lusaka because Zambians are capable of servicing the market. But Universal Investments managing director Fouad Ahmed said the setting up of the one stop vehicle trading facility at Motor World Business Park in Makeni area would result in bringing all car dealers from South Africa into Zambia, thus reducing prices.

Speaking yesterday, Alliance of Used Japanese Car Importers of Zambia spokesperson Killian Matangila said there was no need to engage dealers from Durban when Zambians were managing to carry out the services.

“We don’t need foreign dealers from Durban to start selling second-hand cars when Zambian traders who are mainly pensioners and retrenchees are managing to do this kind of business,” said Matangila. “And how many jobs will they create to replace the 300 Zambian traders whom the Motor Park will dislodge from the market and our appeal to government is not to allow the country becoming a haven for foreign dealers in second hand cars.”

But Ahmed said the setting up of a used car trading facility in Lusaka would remove middlemen based in South Africa because the vehicles would be coming directly from Japan to Zambia.

He said local dealers would not lose anything because the Motor Park facility would be fighting for money from Zambians who would be following reduced prices.

“This is a liberalised economy and those car dealers have been here for many years and what have they done? It is true they are scared of being out of business due to their exorbitant prices since Zambians will have a choice whether to go to them or come to Motor Park,” said Ahmed. “We understand their concerns because their suppliers in Durban will be our dealers at the facility and we expect price reductions of about 25 per cent to 30 per cent since there will be no middle men, hence creating a platform accessible for everyone, including the car dealers.”

After realising that Zambia holds about 80 per cent of used car sales that passes through Durban, Universal Investments is setting up a vehicle trading facility in Lusaka’s Makeni area that would help to transfer the annual US$ 2 billion used car industry from South Africa to Zambia.



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