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GST: Industry players rolling up sleeves

Calculator and toy carThe Goods and Services Tax (GST) is less than two months away and although it is still difficult to determine the impact, automotive companies are rolling up their sleeves.

The repercussions of the implementation of the new tax system, which will be applied along the entire business supply chain, has yet to be made clear by the government and responsible agencies.

However, automotive industry players have upped their efforts in attempting to cushion the impact of the GST and are viewing it positively.

In adapting their policies and procedures to cope with the requirement of the government, some have engaged with tax consultants to assist them to fully-comply with the requirement.

For BMW Group Malaysia, it is gearing up for a challenging period during the first quarter of the year due to uncertainties concerning the GST.

“Many people are still wondering what is going to happen to prices once the GST kicks in. There were speculations that cars in the market will be substantially cheaper and this causes them to take a wait-and-see approach,” its managing director Alan Harris told Cars, Bikes & Trucks recently.

“There are still uncertainties regarding the mechanism of the GST. Our expectation, however, is that cars will not be more expensive.”

He added: “There were many speculations that the current ten percent Sales Tax is being replaced by the six percent GST. And due do that, people began assuming that cars would be four percent cheaper. But what they do not realise is that a different price point is actually applied when we buy our cars from our plant.”

Still, until “the calculations are finalised”, BMW anticipates the prices of cars will be maintained or marginally cheaper, Harris said.

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, on the other hand, are taking legal advice from tax consultants.

“As a responsible brand owner, we will try our best to ensure that we maintain the value of our products while at the same time ensuring that we are compliant to all our regulatory requirements,” Mercedes-Benz Malaysia chief executive and president Roland Folger told CBT.

He added that this practice applies to all completely knocked down (CKD) and completely build up (CBU) models across its line-up.

“We have engaged with tax consultants to ensure that we are fully compliant with all required government regulations.”

He added: “We view the GST positively. It is certainly one step towards transparency and we believe that the market forces will adjust to the change eventually.”



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