Importers shun Japanese auto dealers amid frauds

Cars await clearing at Dar Port
Recent reports on existence of the unscrupulous car dealers supposedly based in Japan, who have swindled Tanzanians of millions of shillings over bogus sales, are said to have caused local importers to start looking elsewhere.

The development is said to have affected not only Tanzania but citizens from other member states of the East African Community as well.

There are claims that several Tanzanians have collectively been cheated of millions of shillings by Japanese companies that lure customers with prospects of owning posh, unbelievably cheap vehicles on their company websites.

Last month, the Kenyan embassy in Japan posted a warning on its website after meeting with some victims of the racket and said it had been inundated with requests for intervention from many Kenyans who had equally fallen victim.

This, together with the strengthening Japanese Yen has made vehicles from Japan expensive.

The trend could be a major hit to the Japanese second-hand vehicle market and a major boon to exporters from other countries such as the UK, who have lately been warming up to the East African market.

In the past few months, one of the largest car exporters in the UK – MHH International has engaged a number of local car traders and private buyers seeking to have access to quality vehicles from Europe.

MHH International MD Benn Alistair says importers  from East Africa have traditionally preferred vehicles from Japan, but this trend is slowly changing as more people turn to the European market for quality cars due on safety concerns.
Source: The Citizen,
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