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Tuesday October 8, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday October 8, 2013 MYT 7:09:22 AM
by neville spykerman
Zaidi Bahrom, 39, and his children checking out a Toyota Prius hybrid at a Toyota showroom in Petaling Jaya.
PETALING JAYA: The government’s move to promote the use of energy efficient vehicles will be scuppered if import and excise duty exemptions for hybrids are removed, according to the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (Fomca).
Its CEO Datuk Paul Selvaraj said there was not much done to promote the use of these environment-friendly vehicles and there was lack of information on why the people should favour such vehicles. He said doing away with incentive pricing for hybrids “will not make sense”.
“Incentives are necessary to promote the use of these cars which are good all round,” he said.
He was responding to a report in StarBiz yesterday which stated that sales of hybrid vehicles might be dented if there was no extension on exemption of duties scheduled to expire by year-end.
Motoring industry insiders echoed Fomca’s view and advised the government to continue with the exemptions.
“The three-year tax holiday was to encourage Malaysians to get energy efficient vehicles. The incentives have worked but not far enough. Demand will drop for all hybrids without the tax exemptions,” said an official.
He pointed out that sales of hybrids were negligible before the exemption was granted, with the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) recording only 322 units sold in 2010.
He said the figure surged to 8,403 units after the exemption in 2011 and doubled to 15,355 units last year.
The official said the exemption should continue for at least another three years before being reduced gradually, adding that any sudden increase in prices would “cause chaos in the used car market”.
“The cost of second-hand hybrids, manufactured after 2014 could be so significantly higher that no one would want to buy them.”
Vehicle dealerships are expecting a beeline to their showrooms as the deadline draws near.
“We expect sales will skyrocket before the end of the year should the government announce that there will be no extension,” said a car dealership owner in Petaling Jaya.
Banking executive Lau Ong Lin, who has been contemplating buying either a Honda Jazz Hybrid or Toyota Prius, said she was not taking chances. “I will place a booking in December,’’ she added.
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Transport & Safety, Consumers and motor industry want tax exemptions for hybrids to continue
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