24 Apr 2008

Up to a 1000 second-hand NZ cars could be shipped to Samoa in a year says importer

11:40 am on 24 April 2008

A New Zealand second-hand car importer, Henry Schmidt, is predicting that up to 1000 second-hand New Zealand cars will be shipped to Samoa within the next 12 months.

The Chief Executive of Auckland-based Autolink Cars, Mr Schmidt, says the Samoan Government has indicated that it will drop the level of duty payable on imported second-hand cars within a matter of weeks.

Mr Schmidt says the Government asked him for advice on changes to the current duty system and he recommended shifting to a system where duty is based on the depreciated value of a car's new price.

He says the Government has indicated it will adopt the system and he expects amount of duty payable to drop significantly from the current 2,400 US dollars to over 3,000 dollars paid on late 1990 cars.

Mr Schmidt says he will concentrate on supplying the Government and rental car market and plans to test the market with shipment of 250 used cars directly from Japan.

He says New Zealand Samoans are already shipping right-hand drive vehicles to their families.

"I would say most families will be sending not cars, will be sending something like a small four-wheel drive... the Vitara, the RVs and so on."

Mr Schmidt predicts 1000, late 1990s vehicles will be sent over within the first year.