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Are Cars Sold As Brand New In Lk Of Lower Quality?


Lahiruwan
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The car market today is flooded with cars brought down under the concessionary duty permit scheme. For example it seems possible to get a 5 series diesel BMW for about 10 million which is about $75,000. Even in the USA these cars cost about $50,000/-. Considering the 'permit' attracts a duty of about 125% and not to forget a CIF limit of $25,000/- (now upto $35,000) how can the car manufacturers and agents sell these cars at those prices? One possibility is that they remit some funds illegally as a car such as a BMW 5 series cannot be bought for $25k. The other is that the manufacturers make cars with de-specced engines, lesser technology and cheaper plastics specially for markets like ours.

Does anyone know what is happening?

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Does anyone know what is happening?

I suppose that is one of the reasons it's called the "Miracle of Asia". :)

One thing I do know about is that in Sri Lanka we have never heard of an agent recalling cars enblock as they do in the US UK, Aussi NZ etc etc for any issues.

Edited by CJ5
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Most of the Brand new cars imported by agents are low spec cars. My ex and I bought a brand new 2006 121 which had no ABS, no alloys and no stereo from fcty. They were all fitted here except the ABS to make the cars more attractive. When asked why, they said that is the only way they camn sell brand new cars and still stay competitive with the Sri Lankn tax environment.

Same goes for almost all BMWs imported to SL, Unless the buyer is rich enough to order certain options and pay the extra tax. The first owner of my old E36 ( now Bugatti's car) was ordered with a mix and match list of options that was not offered with other cars at the time in SL.

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The car market today is flooded with cars brought down under the concessionary duty permit scheme. For example it seems possible to get a 5 series diesel BMW for about 10 million which is about $75,000. Even in the USA these cars cost about $50,000/-. Considering the 'permit' attracts a duty of about 125% and not to forget a CIF limit of $25,000/- (now upto $35,000) how can the car manufacturers and agents sell these cars at those prices? One possibility is that they remit some funds illegally as a car such as a BMW 5 series cannot be bought for $25k. The other is that the manufacturers make cars with de-specced engines, lesser technology and cheaper plastics specially for markets like ours.

Does anyone know what is happening?

Like vvti said, they may be low spec cars, not low quality cars. Most of the bmws and luxury marques offered for permit here, are taxi and fleet car specs. They are cheaper than retail versions in other countries.

Despite that, if I'm buying a euro, I'll always buy a brand new imported one because they are tropicalized. The ford focus i have, is a fully loaded spec, which is also made for Sri Lankan climate and terrain.

Edited by Crosswind
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Quality and the material are identical (at least in the Honda CRV) I have compared this side to side with the JDM.

However the specs are different lot has been compromised in the safety area (no side air bags, traction and stability control). And also no fancy features like auto head lights / wipers , key less operation (push start), cruise control, navigation. But you get 4WD and leather electric seats.

So I guess it is a matter of getting a car at a price affordable and preferences of a particular market.

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Norm is the vehicles your are allowed to bring down for the permit have lesser options i doubt build quality is compromised. Agents have to negotiate with the manufacturer on specs and price and then proceed with offering it to the public.

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Its all a question of specs, in the case of the permit cars some err "creative accounting" is probably going on to bring them under permit limits as well..

The biggest downside to our crazy ass taxation is the government/customs still continuing to insist that essential safety kit like side airbags, stability control etc are "luxury options" and levying tax on them... The level of retardedness there is difficult to believe!

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This is OT, but see this news on BMW agents in SL:

http://www.srilankamirror.lk/news/11079-prestige-mega-fraud-details-revealed

I am not a fan of prestige, but this sounds very much like a one-sided story coming from an egomaniac 'doctor'.

Seems like the customer does have cause for complaint if that is indeed what happened. After all the dealer IS obligated to check whether the customer a that repair done before going ahead with it. You can't just tow a car in and start re-building the engine, changing gaskets, turbo chargers and what-not before informing / getting authorization from the customer.

Edited by Kavvz
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Seems like the customer does have cause for complaint if that is indeed what happened. After all the dealer IS obligated to check whether the customer a that repair done before going ahead with it. You can't just tow a car in and start re-building the engine, changing gaskets, turbo chargers and what-not before informing / getting authorization from the customer.

Good link. Thanks for sharing info.

It's very easy for people to take sides and bash a company (especially a notorious one like prestige). But let's look at some of the loopholes of this story.

1. Car halted in the middle of the road all of a sudden and prestige decides to rebuild the engine. Does it even sound logical to you? There should be something more about the incident than what is mentioned here.

2. If its just an incident of the car stalling in the road, then why is the insurance company involved?

3. This appears to be a brand new car. Shouldn't this be under warranty? Why is there no mention of warranty?

Prestige may have done a major blunder with the final invoice and they are not saints either, but there seems to be something more to it than Mr. Siribaddana's rant.

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Yeah, I'm not saying that Prestige is innocent here but an incident I heard of reminded of me another side to the story.

When one of my friends was in T*y*t* L*nk* getting his vehicle serviced he had heard a customer blasting everybody there telling that the company is ripping him off. TL wanted to rebuild an engine in a Hi-Lux that was sold B/N not even an year ago. Even my friend thought it was a scam and decided to help the guy out. He found that the mileage of the car was just above 100,000 so naturally he also took the customers side.

After much drama, it tuned out that the Hi-Lux has not been serviced EVER... not even the 3 FOC services was done. The engine had done 100k+ with fluids that was poured in before the purchase :D and the engine had stalled in the middle of a journey and the cab had to be brought on a tow truck.

The owner was still insisting TL that the repair should be covered under warranty and he would go to courts if not :D

Edited by k9master
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It's very easy for people to take sides and bash a company (especially a notorious one like prestige). But let's look at some of the loopholes of this story.

1. Car halted in the middle of the road all of a sudden and prestige decides to rebuild the engine. Does it even sound logical to you? There should be something more about the incident than what is mentioned here.

2. If its just an incident of the car stalling in the road, then why is the insurance company involved?

3. This appears to be a brand new car. Shouldn't this be under warranty? Why is there no mention of warranty?

Prestige may have done a major blunder with the final invoice and they are not saints either, but there seems to be something more to it than Mr. Siribaddana's rant.

They mention in the article that the doctor has been told by prestige that water went into the engine and there is no mention of his countering that so it looks as if the good doctor has driven his car into water.. hence the "stopping suddenly" and no mention of warranty. Also note that the estimate mentions a turbocharger replacement (if necessary) and quotes for a new cylinder head as well while the last bill doesn't have both... Prestige MAY have tried to pull a fast one but it looks like the doctor here is a typical idiot who graduated from an axio or something... Komisiripala he is not...

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They mention in the article that the doctor has been told by prestige that water went into the engine and there is no mention of his countering that so it looks as if the good doctor has driven his car into water.. hence the "stopping suddenly" and no mention of warranty. Also note that the estimate mentions a turbocharger replacement (if necessary) and quotes for a new cylinder head as well while the last bill doesn't have both... Prestige MAY have tried to pull a fast one but it looks like the doctor here is a typical idiot who graduated from an axio or something... Komisiripala he is not...

Still doesn't explain SLIC's involvement to me, unless it was actually caught in floods.

If that is the case, SLIC would foot the bill and 'doctor' should be happy to get a new turbo and a cylinder head :)

btw this 'doctor' is not from the medical field. definitely not a Komisiripala type. In fact this 'doctor' has his 'doctorate' from the same 'university' as THE famous politician.

Edited by Crosswind
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I have been a regular customer of Prestige till last year. I must say that this info is rather surprising. As far as I know, they have always been somewhat transparent.

I think the problem lies with the new breed of BMW owners that popped after the permit saga. Most of them upgraded from Toyota Carina/Corollas and would be expecting the same kind of performance and cheap fixes.

Besides we are yet to hear of Prestige's reply.

But I think this is a good lesson for Prestige, for trying to sell a marque to every Tom Dick and Harry.

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the story obviously is misleading as it states SLIC (for whatever reason it is involved) had been given a lower invoice and the rest 600 odd k been cheated. The last one obviously refers to the first "estimate"

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The plot thickens! Unravelling this story is like unravelling one of those paper origami cranes. It just keeps going and going!! :D

@ Crosswind: Agreed, there seems to be a LOT more to the story that what's been reported from both sides.

Edited by Kavvz
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