This is with reference to the article titled ‘Much awaited auto policy faces further delay’ published on September 29. According to the article, auto dealers claim that local car assemblers are functioning below capacity to create an artificial shortage to force buyers into paying a premium (also known as ‘own money’) for quicker delivery. This causes the vehicles to be sold in the black market. As valid as these claims may be, one can’t help but wonder how this artificial shortage is really created. Who is responsible for it? A customary visit to any auto dealer in the city will reveal that he has several new, locally manufactured vehicles on sale. These are vehicles that can be procured earlier than usual (rather than waiting for the standard vehicle delivery period) if the buyer is willing to pay above and beyond the market price (read premiums).

While the auto industry may be at fault for not working at optimum capacity, it appears that the dealers’ association isn’t entirely blameless. In fact, in some ways, they actually contribute to the shortage by hoarding these vehicles just so that they can make extra money at the expense of the buyer. In this tug-of-war between dealers and manufacturers, the only person suffering is the buyer. Whether he buys a locally manufactured vehicle or an imported one, he gets no choice in the matter as he has to put up with and give into the demands dictated to him by the auto dealer.

ALAMGIR KHAN,

Karachi, September 30.