Zimbabwe is spending $1,8 million on imported ex-Japanese vehicles every month through online Japanese car dealer BeFoward, TechnoMag can exclusively reveal.
This revelation comes hot heels of another shocking disclosure that Zimbabwe lost not less than $40 million to DSTV subscriptions in the year 2016. In an interview with TechnoMag, BeFoward payment Solution Team Manager Fujita Kazuhisa said they sell about 600 cars through their platform into Zimbabwe.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
We sell about 600 cars every month which can average about $3000 per car. If we multiply that it becomes $1, 8 million dollars every month,. he said
“Bitcoin payments are still little because the liquidity is limited. We have just about 20 people buying cars on our platform using bitcoin,” said Kazuhisa.
BeForward is the most popular platform where Zimbabweans are buying second hand vehicles from Japan.
While local car assemblers are crying for playing second fiddle to foreign car dealers, the number of car imports remains high with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority saying that there were 24573 imported vehicles last year.
Zimbabwe is currently the only country that allows car imports from Japan to enter the country without conformity assessment certificates, subjecting local consumers to sub-standard vehicles.
The importation of second-hand vehicles is a contentious issue for local assemblers who feel short-changed over the loss of business to cheap imports.
The market however prefers the imports due to their affordability compared to locally manufactured vehicles.
During the first half of 2016, car imports into the country amounted to $250 million down from $365 million during the same period in 2015 on the back of stringent duty tariffs coupled with liquidity challenges.
At the close of 2015, $469 million was spent on vehicle imports from $452 million used for the same purpose in 2014, adding to the huge import bill.