Is There an “Insurance Monopoly” in Car Market?
We all have been talking about the monopoly of the Big 3 in the local auto market for a long time. Every one of us has mentioned it one way or another, especially if one of us is a car enthusiast. After the entrance of new companies, these Big 3, i.e., Toyota, Honda, and Suzuki, started to have tough competition and people thought that their dominance would reduce with time.
It proved to be true in some cases as cars like Kia Sportage have given a very tough time to old players like Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. However, there are still some aspects, where the dealerships of these old companies are trying to maintain their monopoly.
Insurance Monopoly by Suzuki & Toyota Dealerships
A couple of months ago, we heard that Toyota Pakistan and Pak Suzuki dealerships are asking, rather forcing, the consumers to get insurance from them. Last month, we told you about Toyota dealerships, and how they are asking the buyers to get insurance; otherwise, the car will not be delivered.
Now, this is the same case with Pak Suzuki, especially in case of Suzuki Alto, our sources told us. All of us know that Alto is the sole dominant player in the 660cc car segment, and this is the car for middle-class families. And we think the dealerships are trying to take advantage of this point. So, we decide to check it ourselves.
During our research, one Suzuki dealership told us that insurance and registration on Suzuki Alto is essential, while you have option on Suzuki Swift to get it from dealership or not. Meanwhile, other dealership said that insurance plus registration is essential on Suzuki Swift, while you have option on Alto.
So in short, insurance plus registration is necessary on one of these cars, otherwise you will not get the vehicle.
As per a dealership official, the consumer has to pay Rs. 47,000 for insurance and Rs. 49,000 on Alto for registration. “We are offering Adamji insurance,” one of the officials told us. Meanwhile, the rate for Suzuki Swift is around Rs. 80,000 and Rs. 70,000 for insurance and registration respectively.
Stance of Toyota & Suzuki
When contacted, representatives of both companies have rejected it, saying that this is not the insurance policy. They said that its consumers choose whether he wants insurance or not or wants insurance from another company. “Some sales representatives have targets, and maybe that is why they ask the buyers to get insurance from the dealership,” one of the officials said.
Although companies have denied such developments but, this is happening because we have contacted the dealerships for confirmation. And this leads to another question whether it is a case for the Competition Commission of Pakistan? Because CCP trying to establish a monopoly in any sector is against the law and free will of the people. The consumer has the right to choose insurance of his liking. Furthermore, it is up to the buyer whether he even wants insurance or not; hence, the dealerships cannot force them to take one.
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