After the donation comes the need for spare parts and repairs

A.M. Costa Rica/Andrew Rulseh Kasper These are some of the patrol cars donated by the Chinese government.

Although they say it’s not right to look a gift horse in the mouth, the patrol cars that the Chinese government donated to Costa Rica are getting mixed reviews.

The cars were donated in early January to be used by the Fuerza Publica and Policia de Tránsito. This was the second donation of its kind. The first group was of 250 cars donated in 2009 by the Chinese government, according to the secuirty ministry.

Many of the cars from the first donation sit at shops across the country awaiting parts that need to be shipped from China. A Fuerza Pública mechanic working at the Consejo de Seguridad Vial shop in La Uruca said the process can be very slow when requesting parts from the Chinese car manufacturer, First
Automobile Works. The company primarily operates out of China, which is the biggest automobile market in the world.

The mechanic added that unlike the cars, the parts are not free. He said he preferred Toyota and Hyundai to the Chinese cars. There was a line of about five of the Besturn brand lined up in front of the shop. And there are many more parked in lawns and driveways at government auto shops around the country.
News sources have reported that more than half of the cars from the first donation are out of service.

Although the Besturn B70, the model of the car donated, has been given good marks by auto critics in 2011, sales of that model reportedly dropped off more than 40 percent. It was during this year that FAW won the bid with the Chinese government to have their cars be bought and then donated to Costa Rica, a press release from the company said.

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