The Sales Director at a local car dealership is calling on government to review duties on hybrid vehicles.
Roger Moore of Nassco Limited has witnessed first-hand the growing lack of interest in these vehicles, which are good for the environment, however, due to tax increases in recent years making them too expensive for most.
“There were three hybrid vehicles that we sold and each of them started very well, but then the cost with the increase in taxes; when the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) was increased that really pushed the cost up very high,” he indicated.
“A lot of people then were not in a position to purchase the vehicles. So, we found that sales went dormant. We had the last three or four vehicles for almost two years before we got them sold,” it was explained.
Moore, who was speaking to the media at the launch of the Toyota Rush at Nassco’s River Road Showroom, said that unless the duties are reviewed, dealerships will have difficulties importing such vehicles.
“Those especially in the range of over 1600 cc are still a little prohibitive because the first cost on those type of vehicles is very high because of the technology. So, unless they do something with the duties, I am afraid a lot of distributors will not be able to afford to purchase those vehicles. It makes no sense purchasing and having them in the showroom and can’t get them sold,” he stressed.
“It is something that the new Administration now would have to look at and I am sure they will because they have indicated that they want to go in that direction – they want to go green. It is good for the environment, so I think they will definitely look at it and hopefully soon,” it was further stated.
The Sales Director also pointed out that other Caribbean countries have been making it easier for the importation of the eco-friendly cars, “some of them have hybrid and electric vehicles duty-free – as long as you are purchasing one of those vehicles you don’t pay duties – all those were incentives that were given to distributors to bring in these vehicles”.