The countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s car hire industry is working on the creation of a new association which seeks to revamp the sector and ensure that members are empowered.
One of the operators championing the formation of the association, Mike Mlombwa, said the grouping, to be formed in the first quarter of this year, will benefit consumers as it will ensure uniform pricing.
A vibrant car hire industry is believed to be crucial in the creation of a powerful tourism sector.
Currently, the country has over 20 car hire companies working in isolation.
Mlombwa, who is managing director of Country Wide Car Hire, said the association seeks to eliminate some tendencies by foreign operators who are under pricing their vehicles to choke local businesses.
“We would like to eliminate the tendency by some foreigners who are just flexing their muscles by bringing in over 100 vehicles and reducing prices to eliminate others,” said Mlombwa, who is also president of Indigenous Businesses Association of Malawi (Ibam).
He further said the association will seek to talk to the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s car dealers to ensure that lease back services are provided by the car hire companies.
“There are some companies which are not interested in managing a fleet of vehicles as they are only interested in concentrating on their core business.
“These companies only hire the vehicles for a period of, say three years. What we are saying is that instead of the car dealers providing this service, they need to give it to the car hire companies because that is our area.
“We believe that in so doing, it will help empower the local car hire operators,” said Mlombwa.
He noted that local car hire companies, with the help of local banks, have the capacity to provide successful leaseback services to companies.
The association, according to Mlombwa, also seeks to eliminate an element of greed among operators as it will promote sharing of jobs.
“Those that will not join the association will face the consequences as they may find it hard to survive on their own. We believe that in unity, there is strength.
“We also want hotels to have relationships with car hire companies and not the current set up where a hotel owner may have a car hire and construction companies,” said Mlombwa.