Why so many Jeepetas & a strong peso!

Marcus

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I noticed of the past few years, regardless of the situation with the exchange rate, that more and more new jeepetas (the expensive ones from Mitsubisihi and Toyota) seem to be populating the streets. Luxury cars are no exception either. I can't stop at a traffic light in Santo Domingo without a new Jeepeta or Mercedes waiting next to me. The reason I ask this question is because interest rates are high and wages in general are low for most people. How are so many people able to afford these vehicles.
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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...and more often than not, crushing debts and warped priorities.

Take Barcelona, a city in the developed world, known for its affluence and sheer style. When I last visited a year and a half ago, I went with my Dominican husband, who remarked that despite all the glamour and obvious wealth, you did not see more than one or two jeepetas in a single day trudging around the city.

Contrast this capital of world culture and good taste with the city of Santo Domingo, where at any given moment in most parts of the city you can count them by the dozen.
 

franco

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Chirimoya said:
...and more often than not, crushing debts and warped priorities.

Take Barcelona, a city in the developed world, known for its affluence and sheer style. When I last visited a year and a half ago, I went with my Dominican husband, who remarked that despite all the glamour and obvious wealth, you did not see more than one or two jeepetas in a single day trudging around the city.

Contrast this capital of world culture and good taste with the city of Santo Domingo, where at any given moment in most parts of the city you can count them by the dozen.
But in Europe each liter of gas will cost you ~1.20 euro which is US$1,53, so gallon will cost around US$5,79 (~RD$173) and situation with parking is worse than here. Thats why you did not see more than one or two jeepetas, but in Europe, you can see much more Ferrari's, Lamborghini's, Benleys, etc. than here.
 

juancarlos

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So from what I gather, you see more of those expensive vehicles in Sto. Domingo than here in Los Angeles. The question still remains how do they-Dominicans-do it? Do they buy cash or on high interest payments? And who are these Dominicans driving these status symbol vehicles, anyway? Where do they get those pesos from? Are they new rich or returning US Dominicans?
It's certainly a puzzle to me.
 

Bartolomeo67

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it has always been like that

Years ago I read that Santo Domingo had the highest number of Mercedes' in all of Latin America. Nowadays they go for jeepeta's.
Rich, or new rich Dominicans like to show off on the Malecon, they like their status symbols. It's not very wise given the recent rise in crime, but it's their culture. Where they all get the money from is a mystery to me.
Bartolomeo
 

Tor

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I should think why so many by jeepeta's might have something to do with the road standards to do....
 

easygoin

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Moscow Russia

The people that live in Third World countries and underprivileged countries education is few and far between. you have good education like in Russia and all of Europe but no jobs, or you live in a Third World country with some jobs and no education therefore only the few can afford that lifestyle due to economic growth and stability for which the country you live in. Moscow is the number one city in the world as far as expense for travelers. Many beautiful automobiles but you say to yourself how can they afford it who knows but they do. And I'm sure when I go to the DR I will say the same but I also know that there are fewer high quality automobiles that I will see so it catches your attention more. ;)
 

Cleef

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Feb 24, 2002
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Don't forget the government

..or the elected mafioso, whatever you want to call them. They are surely one of the most commonly seen owners* (assuming they didn't steal it from someone) of the SUV/prestige vehicle. That alone is a huge amount of vehicles in the city; I think they have more employees than the U.S. gov't. ;)

Great point Chiri, many live well beyond their means; and there's no better "bling", than the kind you can drive.

The "road standards" is the only valid arguement really.

I realize it's all about the look and whatever, but to me the biggest fools have to be the people that chop down their rides; attaching fairings, scoops and what not. Common sense would be to increase the distance between dog carcasses and drainage canals?and your car, not DEcrease it.
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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juancarlos said:
So from what I gather, you see more of those expensive vehicles in Sto. Domingo than here in Los Angeles. The question still remains how do they-Dominicans-do it? Do they buy cash or on high interest payments? And who are these Dominicans driving these status symbol vehicles, anyway? Where do they get those pesos from? Are they new rich or returning US Dominicans?
It's certainly a puzzle to me.
It is such a wide spectrum behind the wheels of these vehicles that they cease to have value as status symbols. One example - a friend of a friend, lives in a rented house in a lower-middle class area (somewhere in the zona oriental), gets laid off from his job, and spends all the 'liquidacion' money on a nearly new luxury jeepeta. He still lives in a modest house that he does not own, in a run down area, and doesn't know where his next paycheck is coming from, but hey - he's got his jeepeta so he has 'made it'.

I agree about the need for a vehicle with good road clearance, but I don't think that's the prime motivation for the owners of all the new BMWs, Mercedes or Porsche SUVs, all of which are common sights on the streets of Santo Domingo these days.

For me it's a sign of immaturity and bad taste, this apparent desperation to flaunt wealth. I was taught that if you have class and style, no matter how rich you are, you don't need to tell the world about it.

In any case I would be even more of a bundle of nerves than I already am, if I was responsible for such an expensive lump of metal, the way people drive in this city. ;)
 

juancarlos

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Chirimoya said:
It is such a wide spectrum behind the wheels of these vehicles that they cease to have value as status symbols. One example - a friend of a friend, lives in a rented house in a lower-middle class area (somewhere in the zona oriental), gets laid off from his job, and spends all the 'liquidacion' money on a nearly new luxury jeepeta. He still lives in a modest house that he does not own, in a run down area, and doesn't know where his next paycheck is coming from, but hey - he's got his jeepeta so he has 'made it'.

I agree about the need for a vehicle with good road clearance, but I don't think that's the prime motivation for the owners of all the new BMWs, Mercedes or Porsche SUVs, all of which are common sights on the streets of Santo Domingo these days.

For me it's a sign of immaturity and bad taste, this apparent desperation to flaunt wealth. I was taught that if you have class and style, no matter how rich you are, you don't need to tell the world about it.

In any case I would be even more of a bundle of nerves than I already am, if I was responsible for such an expensive lump of metal, the way people drive in this city. ;)
I see your point, Chirimoya. It's a matter of having their priorities inverted and also lack of common sense. Perhaps the prevailing philosophy is live the moment today, for tomorrow you may not be here, more or less.

It is also true that flaunting wealth is a sign of inmaturity and a very naco thing to do, as they would say in Mexico. And as you have mentioned, there may not even be any wealth at all behind many of those fancy vehicles, just irresponsability.
 

GilbertArenas

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This is pretty easy. I grew up in a school where everyone had Mercedes/BMWs/Huge Jeeps.

The way we got ours was the following (and this is the way most people did it).

1. Know someone "high up" in the government. Give them a small bribe, they make a call down to el puerto and you get to drive your car off into the wide expanse of Santo Domingo.......no tax no nothing. A good friend of mine was the grandson of one of the top customs officials, and I told him my parents wanted to bring in a new car..........so we bought it in Miami paid for boat passage......and no tax was needed. I literally just went down to the port with my friend and his grandpa and we drove it out onto the Malecon no questions asked.

My wife's brother used to bring in Porsche, Mitsubishis, BMWs and more using another connection he had. He would pay full price in Miami, say 50k for a BMW and sell it for 95k in the DR. All he was out was the 1k fee for the boat ride. He did this in HIGH SCHOOL (haha) with about 10 or 11 cars and made a cool 350k or so. The trick was to sell to the insanely wealthy people who didn't feel like going through the Miami trip/bribes to get it done. A lot of people do this.

It also explains why many families who were loaded in a certain administration suddenly go broke in the next administration, their customs "connection" is fired. Whoever runs in the port in the DR in any administration gets EXTREMELY rich.

The question of how can they afford it is pretty easy, Sto Dgo has a TON of extremely wealthy people......like any 3rd world capital. The gap between the rich/poor is huge.........very small middle class.

If you can get a successful industry running down there you pay slave wages.......and export at US/EU prices. It's a serious cash cow, which many pepper with drug bribes from South America. :)
 

GilbertArenas

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juancarlos said:
I see your point, Chirimoya. It's a matter of having their priorities inverted and also lack of common sense. Perhaps the prevailing philosophy is live the moment today, for tomorrow you may not be here, more or less.

It is also true that flaunting wealth is a sign of inmaturity and a very naco thing to do, as they would say in Mexico. And as you have mentioned, there may not even be any wealth at all behind many of those fancy vehicles, just irresponsability.
Trust me, behind most of them there is a lot of wealth. No one I knew as a kid "financed" any of their cars. They were usually paid in full in Miami, then imported or paid in full at a local lot on a whim. Living on debt in the DR is next to impossible, 30% interest rates are ridiculous........so most cars you see are paid in full.

It's just the rich/poor gap............it makes the nicer cars stand out quite a bit up against the rusted out public transportation. Kind of like the poor 7 year old kid in dirty shorts begging on the street, and the rich guy in an Armani suit and Rolex flipping him 10 pesos.
 

stallion

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Tor said:
I should think why so many by jeepeta's might have something to do with the road standards to do....
Correct. The DR has very bad road condition that are un-even and pumpy.
 

Gringo

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Jan 1, 2002
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Jeepeta's

stallion said:
Correct. The DR has very bad road condition that are un-even and pumpy.
I work in Real-Estate when traveling around this Country in anything other then a four wheel drive it would be Imposible to navagate with clients with me on outings in the hills and valleys........Ever try to go looking for a lot in this Country after two months of rain in a normal two wheel drive car in the fields?

Another theory is this.......RESALE VALUE! ...One of my salesmen brought me a copy of the local newspaper and showed me the asking price of my Jeepeta a Toyota Land Cruiser 2002 Turbo charged 24 valve 30.000 KM.......I was floored, I paid $42000 US in 2002. Same Jeepeta asking price is now $65000. This has to be the only Country in the world where Jeepeta's Increase in value!
Go Figure!

Gringo
 

hugoke01

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Dec 31, 2004
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Government and jeepetas

Believe that any funcionario of the government who has a certain level has the right to import two cars without paying any import taxes .. As such a funcionario brings in a BMW Jeep for a rich guy and with what he gains when selling it he buys himself a normal jeepeta .. One funcionario imported even a Ferrari and selling it (it's mostly sold before he even imports it) he can probably purchase a nice jeep ... and don't forget the drug money​
GilbertArenas said:
This is pretty easy. I grew up in a school where everyone had Mercedes/BMWs/Huge Jeeps.

The way we got ours was the following (and this is the way most people did it).

1. Know someone "high up" in the government. Give them a small bribe, they make a call down to el puerto and you get to drive your car off into the wide expanse of Santo Domingo.......no tax no nothing. A good friend of mine was the grandson of one of the top customs officials, and I told him my parents wanted to bring in a new car..........so we bought it in Miami paid for boat passage......and no tax was needed. I literally just went down to the port with my friend and his grandpa and we drove it out onto the Malecon no questions asked.

My wife's brother used to bring in Porsche, Mitsubishis, BMWs and more using another connection he had. He would pay full price in Miami, say 50k for a BMW and sell it for 95k in the DR. All he was out was the 1k fee for the boat ride. He did this in HIGH SCHOOL (haha) with about 10 or 11 cars and made a cool 350k or so. The trick was to sell to the insanely wealthy people who didn't feel like going through the Miami trip/bribes to get it done. A lot of people do this.

It also explains why many families who were loaded in a certain administration suddenly go broke in the next administration, their customs "connection" is fired. Whoever runs in the port in the DR in any administration gets EXTREMELY rich.

The question of how can they afford it is pretty easy, Sto Dgo has a TON of extremely wealthy people......like any 3rd world capital. The gap between the rich/poor is huge.........very small middle class.

If you can get a successful industry running down there you pay slave wages.......and export at US/EU prices. It's a serious cash cow, which many pepper with drug bribes from South America. :)
 

Criss Colon

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"From "Chancleta" To "Yipeta"!

Is a popular Dominican "Saying"!It literally means from "Flip Flops" to an "SUV"!
It "means",that one day a guy's method of transportation is "Flip Flops",and the next day he is behind the wheel of a "Yipeta Del Ano"!
Usually as the result of political "largesse"! Balaguer did it,Leonel did,and does,it,and Hipolito was the "Grand Master if it!They exonerate the "Party Faithful" from the taxes due on a new import.Or,the party makes,or helps make,depending on the level of your "office", your monthly parments.These SUVs are easy to spot,because they are parked in front of "Shacks" at night,and driven (POORLY!)by a "Pena Gomez" look alike during the day!!
The "Middle Class",DOES buy making monthly payments."Vanity" is alive and well in the DR,and a prime motivator of where dominicans live,how they dress,where they educate their kids,and what they drive!
When I lived and worked in Boston,all the Dominicans who worked at the hospital where I did,asked to have their picture taken sitting in my car!
Here I drive a "piece of crap"! I refuse to pay twice what a car "costs" in the USA,make payments on a 30% loan,pay 50,000 pesos a year for insurance,and then have some "Publico" smash into me with HIS un-insured "piece-of-crap"!

Now,lets not forget the "Drug Money"!

The "Old Money Rich" still are driven around in their Mercedes!!!
 
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Riu

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I think a saw more jipetas and mercedes last november when I visited than in february.

I was hanging around with some of the "rich", they live in Los Pinos etc. All this people talk about is how much they have, the car they drive, were they hang out, the club they belong to. It is an ego trip. Specially guys, they flaunt it, I believe to impress women, who were falling left and right for these guys.

I saw more Porche jeeps there than I ever have seen in the US. These cost up to US$90,000 for high end models in the U.S. If they cost that munch in U.S. I wonder how much they would cost overthere. I checked somo prices and they are insane.
 

arturo

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Crisss hit the nail on the head: vanity+naivete=FIGUREAR a la Dominicana

Riu said:
I think a saw more jipetas and mercedes last november when I visited than in february.

I was hanging around with some of the "rich", they live in Los Pinos etc. All this people talk about is how much they have, the car they drive, were they hang out, the club they belong to. It is an ego trip. Specially guys, they flaunt it, I believe to impress women, who were falling left and right for these guys.

I saw more Porche jeeps there than I ever have seen in the US. These cost up to US$90,000 for high end models in the U.S. If they cost that munch in U.S. I wonder how much they would cost overthere. I checked somo prices and they are insane.

It's silly really, the impracticality of it all. The usurious interest rates and the irrational, all consuming need to flaunt false wealth in a way even the most unsophisticated nouveaux riche of the developed world haven't since the early 80's. It cuts across all the economic strata. The poorest will go without food rather than attend a social event in clothing they judge to be too worn. The tiny middle class often rack up ruinous credit card debt to clutter their homes with flashy electronics of dubious quality. The top of the economic food chain exercise unrestrained acquisitiveness devoid of any sense of reason or taste. It hit home for me several years ago when, try as I might, I could not bring an adolescent to understand why I pay more attention to my investments than whether my shoes are dirty or my clothing is torn.
 

Criss Colon

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I Do Not Selectively Pick Dominicans To Criticise,"BUT"!

This is where I live,work,raise my family,and this IS DR!1,not USA1!
Sooooooooooo, I have NEVER met a "Culture" so wrapped up in "Imagen"!
To person,a dominican would prefer a pair of "Tenis" at $100 dollars with a "Nike" logo,to an identical pair at $10 dollars!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And that goes for the Super Ricos,to the "Limpia Botas"!!!

How about the guys who walk around with their key chain hanging out of their pants pocket? "Look At ME,I Have A Car!"
I used to sell (8 years ago)used cell phones from the USA.Phones "turned in" there at the end of a contract,or for an upgrade.I cound sell them for about $100 US here. Then I found out I could also sell broken phones for up to $50 dollars! Didn't matter that they were broken,they still looked good hanging from your belt!One doctor I know used to carry his cordless house phone all over town! How stupid is that? My old boss used to use his cell phone even from his office! He would move it around so people would know he was on a cell phone!