TTADA head Visham Bawah, left, and TTADA executive member Stephan Maharaj at yesterday’s news conference.

Massy Motors Limited’s stock of new vehicles has been impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A statement issued by Massy Motors Senior Vice President Jean-Pierre Du Coudray to Guardian Media said, “Our stock of used cars and our short-term rental fleets in particular, were severely depleted. As consumer demand for used cars has increased in the last year, we identified a local supplier of high-quality imported used cars as a short-term solution.”

Massy Motors explained that its quality team conducted a full analysis of the vehicles available from this local supplier and confirmed that they met the quality standards.

The company said,” Ownership of all vehicles we purchase from the local supplier will be transferred to Massy Motors Ltd and be available for us to use as needed. We anticipate that within the next 3 months, our full supply of new imported vehicles would be restored.”

But this move by Massy to purchase foreign used cars and re-sell them is not sitting well with the TT Automotive Dealers Association (TTADA).

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Visham Babwah, TTADA President, believes that this may be part of some wider conspiracy to hand over the foreign used car market to new car dealers. Babwah said he wants the Ministry of Trade to come clean and state whether any new dealers had been registered since the government froze registration for new dealers in 2016. Babwah said TTADA members were shocked to see Massy advertising foreign used cars for sale on Facebook.

He said it was disheartening to see a new car dealer turning to the foreign used market.

Babwah said according to the Ministry of Trade’s policy, business transactions cannot be conducted between car dealers. Bawah said according to regulations, cars must be sold to the public. He said dealers cannot use other dealers license to import cars.

He said, “The government was supposed to put a quota on the new car dealers, the franchise dealers, which the Minister stated in the budget over and over and we have not seen that. And now you have given them access to foreign used cars.”

Babwah said TTADA plans to take the matter up with the Fair Trade Commission.