- Special Pages
DOHA: The Ministry of Business and Trade has warned automobile dealers to bring car prices down or face the music—a move market sources say might see cars becoming cheaper soon.
The Minister of Business and Trade told car dealers at a meeting here on Thursday that they must make sure that automobiles are within the reach of limited-income families.
In a brief message, said the Ministry would not remain a mute spectator and allow automobile dealerships to fix prices as they wished.
Car prices must be brought on a par with those in other GCC states. “The time has come when the Ministry has to act,” he warned.
He also referred to after-sales services and maintenance of vehicles as being expensive and asked the dealers to make these services affordable.
The Minister expressed his unhappiness over auto parts being quite expensive, too, and said there was the need to exercise fair pricing policy, reports Qatar News Agency (QNA).
It may be recalled that the Consumer Protection Department (CPD) under the Ministry of Business and Trade has been actively interacting with car dealerships here over the issue of pricing. The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, had raised the issue at the annual interface with businessmen held by the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI), representative body of the private sector.
He had warned that if automobile dealers did not reduce car prices the government would take appropriate steps and mentioned that some dealerships were charging up to QR40,000 extra for some cars.
Referring car dealerships as monopolies he said they would be stripped of this privilege if they did not mend their ways.
At Thursday’s meeting, the Minister reminded car dealers that the State Cabinet last month gave the go-ahead to his Ministry to set up a committee that would be tasked with fixing minimum prices of consumer goods, including basic food items.
Car dealers, on the other hand, justify their escalating rates to a mix of factors that include increasing rentals, transport and warehousing costs as well as rising staff salaries.
It is a global phenomenon, they insist, adding that car prices are actually going up in the countries of their manufacture.