“It’s a money-making machine,” says garage owner Karhi Bakr, 59, about the import of secondhand car parts into the Kurdistan capital of Irbil.major hub for the trade. Some of the 200 or so Kurdish traders involved have become very rich, Bakr says. “Their profits are enormous. If I had a partner willing to invest, I would also go to Europe to collect used parts.” For now, Bakr only uses parts that others have imported to repair German cars in his small garage in Irbil’s “Car Quarter.” During his 17 years in Denmark, he specialized in Mercedes repairs. Here in Irbil, most of his customers ask for secondhand parts. Only those who can’t afford genuine parts will buy the cheap, poor-quality Chinese copies. “Secondhand is usually as good as new but goes for half the price. Chinese parts sell for around a quarter the price of new ones.” Iraqis love cars, and anyone who can afford it has at least one; indeed, many families have two lined up in the yard. But regular maintenance is not yet the norm in Iraq, and most car owners are not keen to spend a lot of money on repairs. That’s why relatively cheap but… Read full this story
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