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Friday, 17 May 2013

Toyota Zambia's Calculated Folly

Government has rejected calls by Toyota Zambia to limit the age of second hand vehicles entering the country because it may "disadvantage the majority of Zambians who cannot afford to buy brand new ones". Toyota wanted Government to limit the age of second hand vehicles entering the country to four (4) years for cars and pick-ups and five (5) years for trucks in order "to improve safety conditions on roads". 

Transport Minster Christopher Yaluma says vehicles are unsafe on roads due to lack of maintenance rather than their age. Also most cars entering the country are in good condition. Limiting the age of motor vehicles will only benefit players in the local industry and not necessarily benefiting the ordinary Zambians because vehicles would be beyond the affordability of most citizens.

Zambia has in recent years seen an influx of second hand vehicles most of which come from Japan with an age average of about eight (8) to twelve years old.

I agree with the Transport Minister. We need to target policies at the distortion. If the issue is safety, come up with safety related measures. Minister Yaluma has clearly seen through the greed of Toyota Zambia. To create an "import" restriction would just drive up car prices for both old and new actually (not just old). Also it would not solve the problem since all cars grow old! Unless they banned use of old cars period. Which is clearly foolish and unthinkable.

Copyright © Zambian Economist 2013

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