December 27, 2012 00:00 By YUTHAPONG PASI
Nissan Motor (Thailand) has sent a letter to the Excise Department asking for clarification of its recent approval for Toyota's 2013 Vios models, which have yet to be formally launched here, to be included in the first car buyer scheme just before it ends
Honda Automobile (Thailand) has reportedly also sent a letter to the department.
Nissan Thailand president Takayuki Kimura and vice president Prapat Choeychom revealed the letter on Monday.
Nissan said Toyota’s opening of bookings for these new models at this late stage of the scheme might bring confusion to consumers.
Toyota Thailand high-ranking executives could not be reached for comment, but a Toyota source said yesterday that it was the Excise Department that could provide the best explanation.
This should no longer be an issue as the department has already granted the approval and Toyota has strictly complied with related laws and regulations. The models were really produced on the assembly line and excise taxes have been paid, the source said.
Toyota has produced nine Vios models for next year, of which seven are eligible for tax rebates. The company had to open reservations for these seven models to respond to strong demand.
Vichien Emprasertsuk, senior vice president of Toyota Thailand, has said these new Vios models were eligible to join the first car scheme and the company has strictly followed the Excise Department’s regulations and conditions for the scheme.
The company has yet to introduce these new models to the public as the launch has to be strictly in line with the schedule.
The controversy broke during the recent Motor Expo 2012 when Toyota took orders for these seven Vios models, each with a 1.5-litre engine, even though no models were displayed at the fair and they were not expected to be unveiled until early next year.