Team-BHP > The International Automotive Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 13th April 2004, 18:42   #1
v12
Distinguished - BHPian
 
v12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 6,501
Thanked: 6,233 Times
Default

Reuters / April 12, 2004

BAGHDAD -- A red Hyundai sports coupe graces Iraq's first new car showroom, opened last week as violence rose to levels not seen since the war.

"We have sold 38 Hyundais already, but no coupes. They are considered too flashy in these circumstances," said Nihad Abdul Rahman, assistant general manager of Al-Kasid, exclusive agents for selling Hyundai Motor Co. cars in Iraq.

"Iraqis are looking for something affordable and reliable, and Hyundai fits the bill," he said after selling a $10,200 Elantra to a retired officer.

The two-story showroom near the elegant German embassy has models ranging from the $7,200 compact four-door Getz to the $17,500 140-horsepower Coupe.

The timing for opening a new glass-fronted showroom filled with new cars may seem odd. Suicide bombs destroyed several buildings in the area in the past few months and residents say theft and hijackings have been on the increase.

But Rahman said his trading company could not wait to enter a virgin market and take advantage of an environment car dealers consider heavenly -- if it was not for the bombs.

Petrol costs around one cent a liter in Iraq. There is no income tax in force and government attempts to impose a five percent tariff on imports have repeatedly failed.

"We are merchants and part of our profession is taking risks. The country is still in a war mode, but at least Iraqis have choice," Rahman said.

FIRST DEALERSHIP FOR DECADES

Iraq has had no official car dealerships since Chevrolet packed up and left as the Baath Party came to power in 1968. The state acquired a monopoly on importing new cars. Showrooms were banned and sales were conducted from state warehouses.

Saddam Hussein's Iraq preferred to deal with countries it considered allies, although not particularly renowned as leaders in the car industry, such as Russia. But government officials and Saddam's entourage were treated far better.

Saddam's late son Uday liked Porsches and Ferraris, though Saddam riddled Uday's collection with bullets after becoming angry with his son for insulting his uncle Barazan, guards to the former president say.

Iraq's borders opened after the war and restrictions were effectively scrapped on importing cars. Hundreds of thousands of cars entered the country, but they were overwhelmingly second hand. A 1990 BMW 335i costing around $5,500.

Rahman said Iraq's used car market would remain huge, given an increase in income following the end of the crippling 1990-2003 economic embargo.

"The new car market remains promising," Rahman said. "Our prices are among the cheapest in the world and we offer a one-year warrantee and a service centre. This was unheard of."

Workers were fitting steel bars to the showroom's windows. "We prefer straight glass to see the cars. But the situation is not reassuring. We hired extra guards," Rahman said.

The dealership has no insurance -- none exists in postwar Iraq -- and keeps the location of its warehouses secret for fear of looting.

But Khalaf Ganabi, the retired officer who bought the Elantra, was happy with his new set of wheels.
v12 is offline  
Old 13th April 2004, 19:09   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
Dippy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 7,383
Thanked: 737 Times
Default

Now Hyundai becomes the Saddam mobile

Cheers
Dippy is offline  
Old 13th April 2004, 19:12   #3
v12
Distinguished - BHPian
 
v12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 6,501
Thanked: 6,233 Times
Default

Saddams or Bush's mobile.
v12 is offline  
Old 13th April 2004, 19:20   #4
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 61,682
Thanked: 210,209 Times
Default

3 lac odd rupees for a Hyundai Getz, 45 paise for a liter of petrol and no duties on imported vehicles. WOW!

Good find V12,

GTO
GTO is offline  
Old 13th April 2004, 21:11   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
aadix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: hyderabad
Posts: 1,597
Thanked: 13 Times
Default

same though here gto!
hey gto say what , why dont we shift to baghdad and
form a cartel or atleast the pr managers of some cartels, then i am sure we would be the first ones to buy those lovely looking coupe of hyundai!!!
ps: i want the one in red please!!!!!!
aadix is offline  
Old 13th April 2004, 23:45   #6
Team-BHP Support
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 11,808
Thanked: 53,185 Times
Default

We may ridicule Hyundai, but one thing's for sure, they've got guts. They have gone and set up shop in a country that is in political mess. Where are the other giants? GM, Ford, Daimler-Chrysler, etc. are nowhere to be seen.
Aditya is offline  
Old 14th April 2004, 00:40   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
Dippy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 7,383
Thanked: 737 Times
Default

I really envy the fuel price there . 45 paise for a litre and here we are gonna pay 41 rs soon

Dippy is offline  
Old 14th April 2004, 04:23   #8
Team-BHP Support
 
Rehaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 23,328
Thanked: 30,066 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (v12 @ April 13 2004,17:12)]BAGHDAD -- A red Hyundai sports coupe graces Iraq's first new car showroom,
I agree with Aditya.

Really gotta hand it to them.

-R
Rehaan is offline  
Old 14th April 2004, 04:53   #9
RJK
Senior - BHPian
 
RJK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Dubai/Bombay
Posts: 1,062
Thanked: 367 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Dippy @ April 13 2004,23:10)]I really envy the fuel price there . 45 paise *for a litre and here we are gonna pay 41 rs soon


I agree with Aditya.

Really gotta hand it to them.

-R
45 paise is like free fuel !
Way to go hyundai..

M3
RJK is offline  
Old 14th April 2004, 09:14   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: bangalore
Posts: 148
Thanked: Once
Default

If life becomes possible in Mars , Hyundai will be the first to roll out cars
toyota is offline  
Old 14th April 2004, 11:35   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
Shan2nu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Hubli - Karnata
Posts: 5,533
Thanked: 112 Times
Default

That country deserves a Hyundai.

Regards...
Shan2nu
Shan2nu is offline  
Old 14th April 2004, 11:58   #12
v12
Distinguished - BHPian
 
v12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 6,501
Thanked: 6,233 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Reuters / April 12, 2004

BAGHDAD -- A red Hyundai sports coupe graces Iraq's first new car showroom, opened last week as violence rose to levels not seen since the war.
We have sold 38 Hyundais already,
Now isnt 38 a good number of cars sold, especially since people of Iraq must have never heard of Hyundai before.
v12 is offline  
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright 2000 - 2021, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks