(Photo Credit: Apex Car)
Police reports have been made against two parallel car importers that ceased operations suddenly last week.
Owing customers more than S$300,000 in deposits, the two parallel importers in question are Apex Car and Novelty Auto.
Located at the Automobile Megamart in Ubi, Apex Car is said to have collected at least S$206,000 in paid deposits from five customers.
On the other hand, Novelty Auto has failed to deliver cars to at least four customers after accepting deposits amounting to S$98,000. Its office can be found at First East Centre at Kaki Bukit Road 2.
According to the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), it advises affected parties to approach them for assistance, and to report such cases to the Police if they have failed to do so.
Apex Car, which has been in operation since 2010, is owned by two Singaporeans, Mr Lim Mount Neng and Mr Chew Boon Meng. It claims to be "one of Singapore’s top car consultancy company" on its website, and is a member of the Singapore Vehicle Traders Association (SVTA).
As for Novelty Auto, it is owned by Mr Wong Hwee Cheia, a Malaysian. According to the Straits Times, both companies have vacated their premises since last week and are now uncontactable.
For those unaware, this isn’t the first case of parallel importers shutting their doors. In 2016, the owner of Cars Today was jailed seven years for cheating 89 parties of $3.16 million.
In a report by CASE, the motorcar industry has also received the most complaints from consumers over the last six years.
To protect yourself when buying a car from a parallel importer, you should exercise diligence and conduct proper research of the business.
Another measure you should take to avoid being cheated of a large sum of money is to pay a low deposit when signing a purchase contract. Under no circumstances should you make full payment for car when buying from a parallel importer.
To find out more about parallel importers, check out the following article.
Source: The Straits Times and CASE
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