Govt pushing for lower car prices

January 29, 2013 - 2:34:28 am

The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani inaugurating the 2013 Qatar Motor Show at Doha Exhibition Centre yesterday.

DOHA: The government is continuing with its efforts to convince local car dealers to lower the prices of low- and medium-priced vehicles and bring them on par with the rates prevalent in some neighbouring GCC states.

The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, yesterday said talks were still on between the government and car dealers over the pricing issue.

Car prices must be competitive here, as they are in the neighbouring GCC countries, reiterated the Premier, who had first called on the local dealers to lower car prices more than two years ago.

“The stand of the government is that it wants to end business monopolies,” said the Premier. Asked if the steps taken by the Ministry of Business and Trade, which boasts a consumer rights watchdog, to convince car dealers about price reduction were enough, the PM said: “I believe the ministry has done enough in that regard”.

He, however, hinted that the government had not given up on its determination to tame the dealers on the pricing issue and said that efforts in this regard would continue.

In 2010, the PM had raised the issue of low and medium-priced cars being expensive here as compared to other GCC states at his annual interaction with Qatari businessmen.

The Consumer Protection Department (CPD) of the trade ministry followed up on it and held several meetings with car dealers on the issue.

The Premier was yesterday speaking to reporters after opening the 2013 Qatar Motor Show. The event will be open to the public from today until February 2 at the Doha Exhibition Centre.

Some 120,000 people had visited last year’s car show, and the organisers expect a larger turnout this year.

This is the third year the event is being held here. This year’s edition has six new exhibitors, and on display are vintage and high-end luxury cars.

The PM lauded the show and described it as important and said it provided an opportunity to people to view and know about new cars and the latest automotive technologies.

Qatar-Oman JV to make buses

DOHA: Qatar is a stakeholder in a key project that would be launched in Oman to manufacture passenger buses, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, said yesterday.

“There is an intention to open a plant for passenger buses, and it has been agreed that this project will be transferred to Oman, with Qatar’s participation in it,” the Premier was quoted as saying by Qatar News Agency yesterday.

Answering a question about Qatar’s plans to set up a car manufacturing facility, the PM said there was no such plan at the moment.