Mauritius is a major importer of Japanese vehicles.What will the impact of the earthquake and the nuclear threat to Japan on Mauritius?
The threat is great for dealers Mauritius. The number of second hand vehicles, about 300 000-400 000 is sold in 70 'Auction Market, across Japan each week will be reduced. The reason is that the Japanese are not going to change their vehicles every three years like they used to because they are being affected by the earthquake, or they are members of their families who are. They will help them financially. Moreover, the Japanese are a people who help each other.
What are the major brands of Japanese cars imported to Mauritius and how their prices might evolve in the weeks and months ahead?
The No. 1 Japanese automaker's Nissan follow Toyota remains. Third place is disputed by Honda, Mazda and other brands. In Mauritius, our main market is Japan, because their products are quality. We have tried in the past to import cars from South Africa and Singapore, but it did not work because the quality was not reflected. With the natural crisis in Japan, we can expect higher prices on the market in the early hours.
In Mauritius, the prices of Japanese cars will continue to rise. However, the Japanese government who returns to review the auto market every fortnight will ensure that industry is not affected and will continue to boost the sector, perhaps by offering "incentives" to certain actors in the industry to keep its head above water.
The possible increase in the prices of Japanese vehicles is unlikely does not push the Mauritians to turn to Chinese and Korean brands?
It's already the great war on the world market. Some brands other than Japanese are trying to penetrate several countries including the United States and Europe. The Japanese government has set a good strategy. That's why the country of the Rising Sun has established joint ventures with European companies. To return to your question, I answer by saying: everything new is good! At least for a while.
The client makes the quality and sustainability of a product over time. Despite the feeble attempt of some brands succeed in the Mauritian market, Japanese vehicles are always going to catch up. If the customer can be influenced by the price of new brands, it will return in time to "Lacaze mama" where the quality premium.
The yen rose this week to its highest level since 1945.Do not you think that this situation is temporary and that the yen is expected to stabilize once the crisis is over?
Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the crisis that ensued, it was the Japanese who controlled the New York Stock Exchange. In the past, with a dollar, we still got more than 100 yen. Since the crisis, you do not get more than 90 yen a dollar. It was the Japanese who took financial control. That's why Japan remains financially sound, although that country is currently experiencing a crash related to natural causes.Moreover, the Japanese have continued to invest rather than sell their assets. Moreover, the Japanese government has invested 35 billion yen to rebuild damaged infrastructure and without benefit of foreign aid.
In Mauritius, the yen is currently at Rs 37.26 against Rs 36.42 on Friday before. The yen continues to appreciate even more than the Bank of Mauritius has so far confined only to keep the dollar around Rs 30 - Rs 31. For two years, the BoM has done nothing to control the yen. For example, in March 2010, the yen was at Rs 26. Another observation: the yen is twice as important as the rupee against the dollar. The yen is not going to drastically reduce and hover around Rs 35 to Rs 36 because it is the Japanese who control the international market.
To what extent the Mauritian dealers will they be affected?
Dealers who sell Japanese cars are already affected and will continue to be affected by the appreciation of the yen. There is an attempt by other brands to gain market share. Especially with the difficult economic situation the Mauritians are seeking the cheapest products. However, we believe these customers will come back to quality over time.
Some fear that the Japanese will dispose of damaged cars to customers. Your opinion?
The Dealers of Imported Vehicles' Association sent a letter this week to the Minister of Trade and the Consumer Protection so that they take steps to prevent such vehicles entering the country. These cars will be sold as "flooded vehicles" in Japan. We hope the authorities will respond promptly.
Is there risk of a lack of supply?
No. In Mauritius, there is a good stock of Japanese cars. Moreover, we note that even a slowdown at the brand level. There is a risk however that specific models are not available. For example, the 1000 cc cars are in high demand since the oil has shot up. If demand for certain specific cars is increasing worldwide, the supply may not follow.