Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Car dealers seeks urgent talks with PM
President of the T&T Automotive Dealers Association (TTADA) Visham Babwah has accused Trade Minister Vasant Bharath of invading his privacy. His association is seeking urgent talks with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on that and other issues affecting the foreign-used car industry.
At a news conference yesterday, Babwah claimed Bharath had exposed his company’s confidential business during an interview on CNC3’s morning show earlier this week, revealing how many cars he was selling annually and how much profit he was making on a vehicle. Babwah said the minister’s comment came after the TTADA expressed concern about plans to allow more used car dealers into the local market.
“The minister has now put my life, my family’s lives and members of the association’s lives at risk and we take this kind of thing seriously because the Government is unable to control crime currently and this kind of statement could have negative repercussions. We are calling on the Minister of the People, Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar, to have an urgent meeting.”
TTADA vice president Rhondal Fields said the association was not opposed new dealers but believes the market could only sustain an additional 50, not the 200 being proposed. He said bringing in too many dealers may result in problems, including increased prices at auctions and additional problems with Customs and the Licensing Authority. Fields said when TTADA asked ministry officials how many cars other dealers were getting they were told that information was private and confidential.