PRICE CUTS ‘NOT ENOUGH’ Car prices should go down further, says Najib
Car prices need to go down further than those already announced by some automobile manufacturers and dealers. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday the Government was not satisfied with the price cuts and wanted those in the industry to respond accordingly. “We want car manufacturers and dealers which had announced their price cuts to conduct another study as we feel that the reductions are too small,” he said after flagging off the first round of the Felda-AAM Malaysian Rally Championship 2006 at Felda Bukit Goh, near here. He said car prices must be at a level where they could benefit the people. Najib said the desired price reduction rate had been projected by the Finance Ministry before the formulation of the National Automotive Policy (NAP), but declined to reveal the figures.
He said he was confident that car manufacturers and dealers would do what was necessary to meet the Governments objectives. Proton Holdings Bhd on Friday night said the prices of its cars had been reduced by 2.5 to seven per cent while Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd pledged a four per cent price cut for some of its models. UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd announced a price reduction of between 5.6 and 11 per cent. Some analysts had estimated that car prices would be reduced by up to 20 per cent following the revised excise and import duties under the NAP.
Najib said the reduction of car prices would not undermine the Governments efforts to improve public transport as it would provide the people with better options. “We want people to be able to afford their own cars and, at the same time, have the option of using an improved public transport system.” He added that lowering car prices would help the country become an automotive hub as it would improve the national car industrys ability to control demand for its vehicles.