Cuba Has Sold Just 50 Cars This Year

Politics

A new Peugeot 508 will cost Cubans $262,000. Good luck selling that.

For decades, Cubans have only been able to buy and sell cars built before the 1959 revolution. A new law was recently implemented to remove limits on auto purchases, but the prices are so astronomically high Cuban dealers have shifted just 50 cars and four motorcycles in the first six months of the year. The law took effect in January, but with sticker prices marked up by over 400 percent, the majority of the island’s inhabitants have been priced out.

A Havana Peugeot dealership wants $91,000 for a 206 and a whopping $262,000 for the 508. Good luck selling those when state workers take home around $20 a month. Cuba said 75 percent of proceeds from new car sales would be invested in the country’s public transportation system. Unfortunately for those that take the bus, Cubadebate.com reported the eleven national dealerships took a mere $1.28 million in total sales in the first six months of the year. Before this year, Cubans had to request government authorization to buy cars from state retailers that sell both new and second-hand vehicles. But even with that restriction lifted, it seems Cubans will continue to ride around in vintage 1950s US-built cars.

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