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realclearworld

Oh, Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo in Sampsonia Way:

Oh, Lord, Won’t You Buy Me a Mercedes Benz?

It may be legal to buy a car in Cuba, but who will be able to afford one?

2013 Mercedes Benz A-Class

On January 10, 2014, the Cuban state liberalized car sales. For the first time in over five decades of Revolution, it will no longer be necessary to obtain permission from the Ministry of Transport to buy a car in Cuba. But in a country where the highest salaries barely reach $40 a month, having enough money to afford the cost of a new automobile is something of a surreal dream.

Most vehicles cost hundreds of thousands of CUCs (Cuban convertible peso). By the island’s official exchange rate, this equals several million Cuban pesos.

A 2013 Peugeot 4008, for example, costs 239,250 CUC. In Spain, its price is around €32,000 (about 44,000 CUC). It’s more or less the same case for China’s Geely vehicles, as well as Mercedes Benz, and BMW: Compared to the rest of the world, prices are five times higher, or more, in Cuba.

To make things worse, buyers won’t find any offers for credit.

Continue reading HERE.

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