Saturday 4 August 2012

Auto policy revamp: Pain now, huge gains later

YOURSAY 'The second-hand value of my car would be affected. But I don't mind as I recognise the long-term benefit.'

PKR: Our car policy will benefit existing owners

your sayOMG: I just paid a pretty penny for a brand new car. I would be greatly affected by this new Pakatan Rakyat policy. The second-hand value of my car would be affected. But guess what? I don't mind, because I recognise the long-term benefit.

This is not the last car I am going to buy. I also have to think about future generations and the quality of their lives and how car loans rob them of that.

Anonymous #19098644: The logic unfortunately is flawed. In a normal year, 500,000 to 600,000 new cars are registered. Outstanding cars are closer to 10.5 million or more.

When the price drops, the overall wealth of the community is impacted. PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli is not wrong, but this applies to less than 10 percent. What about those who don't want to trade in or can't qualify for another loan for whatever reason?

On the plus side, it will reduce the overall age of vehicles. It will reduce pollution because newer cars are less polluting.

The bottom line is that this needs to be thought through carefully and the new policy eased in gradually. In the long-term, the people are better off. But in the short-term, a lot of people will be impacted.

I have a lot of respect for Rafizi, but we need to distinguish between the impact of such changes both in the short and long term.

Bobby Cheng: During the 80s, former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad squandered oil money to set up Proton.

Unfortunately, Proton just cannot compete with international players. With crude oil depleting, the country cannot continue to subsidise this loss-making company to massage the ego of its founder. In fact, automobile debt is the worst a person can hold.

Good mass public transportation is the way forward in the 21st century, instead of the National Automotive Policy. Its only goal is to sustain Proton and encourage the entire country to buy Proton because the car cannot sell overseas.

NewMalaysia: I think this is a great idea, although we might suffer some losses initially, but in the long run we could buy better and cheaper cars.

This applies especially to the younger people. For example, if our age is 30 now and if we were to change to a new car every five years, we would have bought five new cars by the time we reach 60.
So, just imagine how much we can save from car prices, loan interest, insurance, etc. Malaysia's car policy has been long overdue for this revamp.

Oscar Kilo: Look at Thailand. They don't have a national auto industry, but instead they have an international auto industry. Look at the scores of big-time car companies setting up shop in Thailand, together with their thousands of vendors and suppliers.

Malaysia has missed the boat. If Proton is so important to the bumiputera agenda, then why are we seeing so many newly-rich Malays driving non-Proton cars?

I see so many Malay folks nowadays preferring Toyota and Honda over Proton. Are they traitors of their own bangsa if they buy a Vios instead of a Preve?

Changeagent: I appreciate and applaud Pakatan's plans to alleviate the cost of living by eliminating excise duties on cars.

However, I also think that this proposed policy needs to be complemented with a comprehensive public transport plan in order avoid increased congestions on our roads. It would be overly simplistic to think that there is no correlation between lower car prices and higher car ownerships.

Pakatan would really need to flesh out their ideas in further details to encompass a more wholistic solution to a possible increase in road traffic as well as to fix the inefficiencies in the current public transportation system.

MfM: What about those of us already driving better cars than a Proton? I don't want to drive a BMW, I'm happy with my Japanese car. I don't want to be forced to upgrade.

Give us the option to either upgrade or give income tax breaks to those of us who pay taxes so that we can enjoy the same lower installment rate (through tax incentive) instead being forced to change our cars.

I hope PKR is reading the comments here. I do need to add though that this should apply only to those who are still paying the loans on their cars, regardless of the down payment.

The rebate should be equal to the difference that they would be paying for the same car on the new price scheme. That would be fair.

Quigonbond: My impression is at the end of the day, folks like MfM won't really lose, because if you're not selling your car, you just need to continue paying instalments.

The only thing is, because of human nature, you'll complain that you're not driving a new car of much better value for the same price - but clearly, the choice is yours.

If you do make the switch, then although you lose from the trade-in, you make back in terms of getting a much better car at a much lesser cost.

The plan is not perfect, but I believe Pakatan will have the support of most Malaysians. Those who have bought very expensive cars - well, the message to them is keep your cars. You're probably the top one or two percent of the population.

Short-term loss for a few, long-term gain for everyone. It's a necessary pain that is sure to happen under any transition.

Cloudnine: When you do away with APs (approved permits) and excise duties, it will result in cheaper cars.

Their second-hand value may drop, but subsequently when you replace your car, it's also going to be cheaper. Cheaper cars (and other things) will benefit everybody.

Mushiro: This PKR car policy will frighten BN. The details have been well thought out by PKR. This is exactly what the rakyat needs. A reasonably priced car will allow for extra cash to help in the monthly household expenditure.

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