Toyota Camry

The Perak government has purchased a fleet of Toyota Camry 2.4Vs, a total of 16 units worth RM2.7 million, or about RM167,000 each. Apparently they had to pay the full price for the cars because the Federal government allegedly refused to provide a tax exemption for the purchase.

Had they got an exemption, the purchase price would only have been RM97,000 per unit according to Senior State Executive Councillor (EXCO) Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham. The tax would have gone back to the government anyway, but the only difference is it’ll be channeled to the Federal government and not the state government.

I wonder if the Terengganu state government got a tax exemption for its Mercedes-Benz E200K purchase, since RM3.43 million for 14 cars is only RM245k each, well below the retail price of the E200K, though apparently such deals can even be gotten by people like you and me, though the cars will be pre-registered.

Reasons cited by the Perak government to justify the purchase are the usual ones – the high maintenance cost of the existing Proton Perdana V6 fleet. It seems the cost of maintaining the state’s fleet over a period of 4 years came up to more than RM1 million.

I don’t think Toyota Camrys are an excessive purchase but this move sends some wrong signals. Firstly, was the justification for the 2.4 litre model? If they had picked the cheaper Toyota Camry 2.0E model priced at RM141,109 instead, the total purchase cost would only be RM2.3 million for 16 units, a savings of RM 400,000, which is quite a substantial amount and can probably be used to fuel the fleet for an entire year!

Secondly, as I understand there is a policy to purchase locally assembled cars, probably for reasons of supporting the local manufacturing industry, why pick a CBU car when there are CKD alternatives such as the Honda Accord and the Peugeot 407?