More than 20 Toyota spare parts shops closed in Almaty 27 ноября 2013, 18:26
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Photo © Yaroslav Radlovsky
More than 20 Toyota and Lexus spare parts shops closed down in Kazakhstan on November 25, Tengrinews reports citing Acting President of the newly formed Union of Independent Auto-Business and the owner of one of those shops Konstantin Lenshin. The shops had received letters from Toyota Motor Corporation asking 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. Mr. Lenshin explained that the owners of the Toyota spare parts shops were not official dealers of Toyota that is why they were importing the original spare parts from the Custom Union member-countries, and not from anywhere future abroad. The market cleansing process started in 2012 when Toyota Motor Corporation entered its trademark into the Customs Register of Intellectual Property of Kazakhstan allegedly to reduce the amount of counterfeit goods in the country. Mr. Lenshin said that the shops took down all the Toyota sign-plates as they violated the intellectual property law. However, he disagreed that sales of the parts themselves were a violation, because the shops were not making any counterfeit spare parts, but only reselling the original parts that they purchased elsewhere, having paid for both the goods and the label. The owner of the shop added that there were only two official Toyota spare parts shops in Almaty and it was unclear how they were planning to meet the whole city's demand for spare parts. According to independent estimates, around 50% of all the cars in Almaty were Toyota and Lexus. Besides, he upheld the common knowledge that the two official Toyota stores were overcharging for the spare parts. Since the two shops are now getting to monopolize the market, is seems unlikely that their prices policies are going to get any customer-friendlier. President of Almaty Entrepreneurs Association Viktor Yambayev also criticized the work of the city's Anti-Monopoly Inspection earlier this month calling the situation with Toyota spare parts shops an example of operations rooting out competition at the market instead of promoting it. By Dmitriy Khegai