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Toyota spare parts traders refuse to import goods from Russia

16 december 2013, 13:49
0
©Yaroslav Radlovsky
©Yaroslav Radlovsky
Almaty Toyota spare part traders are not willing to run their business along the scheme proposed by the official Toyota brand representative in Kazakhstan, the head of the Entrepreneurs Initiative Group Pavel Kim told Tengrinews.

More than 20 Toyota and Lexus spare parts shops were closed down in Almaty on November 25, 2013. The businessmen had received letters from BMF Group, representative of Toyota Motor Corporation in Kazakhstan, telling them to pay fines for illegal use of Toyota trademark and stop any further sales of the spare parts and threatening them with lawsuits if they don't comply.

Later the representatives of the trade mark explained that Toyota spare parts traders were allowed to sell duplicates of Toyota spare parts made by non-Toyota producers or reimport the original spare parts by buying them from official dealers in other Customs Union counties (Russia or Belarus). The traders were also permitted to sell second-hand spare parts.

However, according to Pavel Kim this scheme is unprofitable for the dealers. "BMF Group says: 'Purchase spare parts from Russian official dealers'. But we can buy spare parts on our own from the official dealers in the Arab Emirates, for example. And some of the goods are sold to us 50% cheaper as it is a wholesale. And even after all the customs charges and taxes we are able to offer them at a lower price (than our competitors) here in Kazakhstan," Kim said.

He said that prices of spare parts had grown much over past two years, because entrepreneurs had been purchasing the spare parts from Russia. Kim underlined that the cost of spare parts in the CU member-countries was much higher than in the UAE or USA, even though the latter involved customs clearance.

Toyota Corporation representatives in Kazakhstan explain their action as an attempt to clean the market from counterfeit goods. Kim pointed out that businessmen agreed with the goal and were ready to assist in achieving it.

"The term counterfeit goods is very broad. If they mean fakes of Toyota products, of course, those can be found in CarCity mall or at Bayanaul auto market, because those are uncontrolled territories, where everybody do what they want. The official dealers are make the right steps to fight against those counterfeit goods. This is exactly what they should do on behalf of Toyota Company. But closing borders for import of original spare parts to companies that do this business professionally, in not part of this fight," the head of the Entrepreneurs Initiative Group said.

However, the shop owners believe that the ban will be counterproductive for cutting off the inflow of counterfeits: by closing the shops that are legally selling original spare parts under the pretext that they are use Toyota label without an explicit permission, Toyota Corporation basically invites the counterfeit spare parts without the company's label to storm the Kazakhstan market.

Kim said that duplicate copies, produced by independent plants that have agreements with the Toyota group, could be a good alternative to the original Toyota spare parts. These brands, according to the expert, are also protected by Intellectual Property Law, but these companies' administrations have a different policy: the plants do not prevent free movement and sales of their goods.

Kim also mentioned second-hand Toyota spare parts. He pointed out that it was hard to distinguish the quality of those spare parts and mounting them on a vehicle was a big risk. Besides, Kim believes that sales these spare parts contradicts the Kazakhstan’s policy of making the country's car fleet younger every year.


By Dmitry Khegai

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