Car dealers scramble as sales tax D-day approaches

Hunting for new wheels: Potential customers looking for new cars at a showroom in Petaling Jaya before the sales tax exemption ends on Thursday. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

PETALING JAYA: With just 48 hours to go before the end of the vehicle sales tax exemption, car dealers are working overtime to cope with up to a 50% increase in bookings.Some salesmen said they were up to their neck with orders and were having to take files back home to work late into the night.

Honda sales adviser Nicholas Foong of Tenaga Setia Resources here said the outlet was rushing to register about 900 cars booked by its customers.

“Some of my colleagues bring back files and continue to work at home. We are rushing to make sure everything is in order.

“Customers are entitled to the tax exemption, but we are doing it carefully to make sure that every detail is in place,” he said, adding that the outlet’s waiting time for car deliveries was between two and six months depending on the model.

Foong said since the government’s announcement on the extension of the registration period for the vehicle sale tax exemption to March next year, the outlet had seen an increase of about 30% in the number of bookings daily.

“Now we have up to 40 bookings daily,” he said, adding that he expected the number of bookings to accelerate after the exemption ends on Thursday.

A Mazda TTDI sales adviser who wished to be known only as Annison said the branch was receiving 50% more customers.

He said about 15 bookings were made daily during the week.

Proton MC Motors Setapak sales adviser Abdul Aziz Abd Karim said the outlet recorded a 50% increase in bookings since the government’s announcement on the extended registration deadline.

“We now get about 30 units being booked daily. We are working hard to ensure our customers pay the booking fee before the June 30 deadline for them to be entitled to the sales tax exemption,” he said.

Under the ongoing exemption, a full waiver of the tax is granted to locally assembled vehicles with a 50% waiver on imported ones.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz announced recently that the sales tax exemption for new vehicle orders would not be extended beyond June 30.

However, he said buyers who placed their bookings by then would be allowed until March 31 next year to register their vehicles with the Road Transport Department.

He added that this was to ensure the public benefited from the tax incentive despite the drop in vehicle production amid the microchip shortage and supply chain disruption.

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