August 5, 2016
The declining of the oil and gas sector here in this duty-free island has major impact on every line of business in Labuan.
A salesperson for imported vehicles has recently spoken to Labuan Times regarding the situation for car sales that dropped to its lowest point since early this year.
She disclosed that it was hard to make sales these days as many car applications were rejected by the bank.
“At last year, we still can make 10 units and over car sales for a month. But, in this year starting on January, we can only manage to sale two to four units of car per month and rarely we can sale up to six units of car.
“With the drop in sales, there are many cases of cars those forfeited by the bank especially my own customers. They are now jobless where many of them are former employees in oil and gas companies here,” she said.
When asked about the forfeited vehicles, she told that the bank would tender the vehicles to the public by issuing the letter of tender.
“Once your car is forfeited by the bank and then tendered to the public, your name will be blacklisted in the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) unless you settled the outstanding amount.
“Let say, my customer’s loan to the bank is RM50,000 when his or her car is forfeited, then it is tendered at RM40,000. There is a balance of RM10,000 and this amount that my customer must settle to clear his or her name from being blacklisted,” she said.
The salesperson said further that, previously most of her customers were those working in oil and gas sector here, while currently, most of them are those working in the government sector.
“Today, the bank is very strict in approving the car loans, as they want to ascertain whether the customers are qualified to pay or not. The situation right now is – many people really want to buy cars, unfortunately, they are just unqualified to get the car loan,” she said.
When asked about the situation in their office due to the drop in sales, she replied that their boss insisted them to make sales and the boss kept on telling them that they were yet found the right buyer to buy the car.
“Despite some promotions, but it is still hard to make sales. We do everything we can including marketing our sales through social media such as in Facebook. We received good feedback through social media with a lot of questions, but none of them coming to our showroom.
“Previously, our showroom is busy with the people those coming to watch and buy for the cars. Now, most of those coming to our showroom are for car service,” she said, adding that the number of staffs and salesperson were maintained in their office.
Meanwhile, a furniture shop owner told that his business was also affected by the declining oil and gas sector here, whilst a shop owner for clothes in Financial Park told that it was a cycle in business and economy where he ever experienced the similar situation during in 1997.
“It just a matter of cycle and after this, I hope everything will become fine again,” said the latter.
It is believed that over 10,000 people especially those working in oil and gas sector here have moved out from this island after they were laid-off from their jobs.