The CEO of the Competition Authority answers • Al-Marsad newspaper

2023-12-04 20:43:08

Al-Marsad newspaper: Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Zoum, CEO of the General Authority for Competition, revealed that car prices in the Kingdom are higher than in neighboring countries.

He said during an interview with the “In the Picture” program: In 2018, when we wanted to build the Authority’s strategy, we conducted a general study of all sectors in the Kingdom, and we arrived at the conclusion that 22 sectors were complaining of competition problems, but we did not know about them.

Problems and defects in the automobile sector

He continued: One of the sectors that we expected to have a problem very soon is the “automotive” sector. We conducted a study in which we knew where the defect areas were and where the existing problems were, and we compared them to foreign prices. Then after that we expected that at any moment there would be problems, and indeed there were. A public opinion issue, and we received a directive from the Highness to begin an investigation into this sector.

He continued: We found many violations that could be the reason for raising prices, and among some of the violations that we found in the report were “43 violations,” including one of the car distributors in the Kingdom preventing our entry into the facility’s site, and this is a violation because I am allowed to enter at any time and take any papers or anything. Specific to the violation.

Violation of cars that are unwanted by consumers

He added: We also found one of the distributors obliging the showroom owner to take unwanted cars in the Kingdom, in order to give him cars that are desired by consumers, and this prompts the showroom owners to raise the prices of the desirable cars in order to compensate for his loss in the unwanted cars that he sells at a loss.

Selling at a fixed price

He continued: There is also a violation that one of the distributors imposed on the exhibitionist to sell at a fixed price, and this is a violation because the exhibitionist has the right to sell according to his ability, whether at a high or low price, but the distributor punishes whoever violates his price.

Extended warranty

He added: Among the violations that were also monitored in the automobile sector is what they call the extended warranty, as we found more than one car distributor forcing the customer to buy an additional 3 years, and thus raising the price of the car because it gives him a 5-year warranty.

He continued: The Ministry of Commerce has helped a lot in working to solve these problems, and investigations are continuing and eye opening on the sector will lead to improving car prices in the future.

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