Car dealers making a killing?

Customers seem to think so and the trade dept. has acted on their complaint

Vehicle: In a move to ensure actual prices are being charged for vehicles, the trade department has asked all vehicle dealers to invite a representative from their principal company to discuss the issue.

This is following numerous complaints the department has received from customers across the country that vehicles, sold by dealers in the country, are over priced.

Trade joint director, Dophu Tshering, said the department was forced to intervene and, for the first time, has asked dealers to call their principal company representatives.

Dophu Tshering explained that, since September last year, the department had written to the dealers to submit details of the vehicle’s price composition, including company price and dealer’s commission.  But the details were not provided adequately.

A staff of one of the showrooms in Thimphu, who requested anonymity, said that dealers make profit between Nu 100,000-200,000 depending on the type of vehicle.  The profit includes the dealer’s commission.

A few complaints were also received from the dealers.  These concerned Bhutanese buying vehicles from across the border, particularly Siliguri.  Buying vehicles from across the border has a significant price advantage.

“There are no control measures at the moment for vehicle prices in the country. So, it’s important that we intervene,” Dophu Tshering said. “When there are several complaints from customers, it means dealers aren’t doing proper business.”

The meeting between trade officials and the principal company representatives, along with the dealers, has been scheduled for April 1.  During the meeting, representatives  will be briefed on the country’s Wholesale Regulation, 2006.

Procedures on vehicle dispatch, company price, and transportation cost and dealer’s commission will also be discussed.  The joint director said dealers have been given enough time of two weeks to inform their principal company.

“Failing to comply will result in cancellation of dealership license,” he said.

Meanwhile, dealers said that the allegation on over pricing is not true.  They said their pricing is in accordance to regulations.  Dealers also said that, although theirs is a profit making business, their internal policy mandates them to provide goods and services at affordable prices.

However, a third country vehicle dealer said it would not be possible for them to invite their principal company representative on such short notice.

“We have to see the convenience of our company officials,” one of the third country vehicle dealers said.

In reference to Bhutanese buying vehicles from India at lower prices, Dophu Tshering said buyers should be cautious, as there have been cases where vehicles were not delivered despite payment.

He said, although it was not illegal to buy vehicles from India, to bring the vehicles into Bhutan, a wholesale dealer license is required. This forces Bhutanese to buy from local dealers only.

“Should there be any changes on prices of vehicle after we meet the principal company representative, it would be implemented for vehicles bought after the meeting only,” he said.

By Nirmala Pokhrel


5 replies
  1. truthseeker
    truthseeker says:

    It is one wise step the Government took ahead in favour of citizen. On this note, beyond the topic of the matter, I would also like to know, if any one have any idea on lifting the ban on commercial vehicles (Taxi). To some extend, I heard some rumours that RSTA is discussing over the matter but not really sure.

  2. b u t
    b u t says:

    if the complaints are found to be true the perpetrators should be put to task sternly and excess payments refunded to innocent buyers.

    hope all eyes and ears of the government are open on this issue as we all know that the people are already paying heavy taxes on import of vehicles due to ill timed taxation policy of the present government.

  3. online
    online says:

    These dealers are nothing more than a middle man. I wonder what are the criteria for possessing license for such businesses. they just take the money and deliver the cars( no cars in showroom). After that it is very difficult to get spare parts or servicing facilities. Trade department should really look into the matter and issue license only to those who are capable of running the business.

  4. Dawbus
    Dawbus says:

    This is good news for me as I am about to order my vehicle. Now I will be waiting and looking forward to make the price to come down and fix those dealers.
    Customer as a individual can’t buy vehicles from India directlybut its mandatory to buy through the dealers in Bhutan. this makes the plus point for them in market and they act monopoly where they are charging more prices from customers. The Trade officials should also look into this matters too.

  5. bodhisatva
    bodhisatva says:

    It is good measures from the government side to keept our market in healthy pratice. One more thing that the car dealears for third countries are little bothered on assurance of necessary spare parts which ever is required. When we ask them their answers would be “we bring only running parts only, we don’t bring other spare parts.” If so, whose responsibility is it to keep parts ready for replacement? On otherside, we Bhutanese has the tendency of granting kadrin changshey despite it’s their respondibility to ensure us any parts for out vehicles. Trade Department should bring this issue also on the common table to improve their after sale service.

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