Argentine car makers say that a plan allowing consumers to buy new cars using government bonds they received in return for frozen bank deposits is unlikely to boost sales because of the unattractive terms and complexity of the offer, Reuters reported.

Reuters said the recession-hit car makers, whose production has fallen 45% so far this year, compared with 2001, originally welcomed the initiative, announced late on Monday, as a golden opportunity.

But, Reuters said, the ‘fine print’ of the government’s plan shows that those wishing to use frozen funds to purchase cars will have to swap their savings for as little as a quarter of their face value in a complicated process that could take weeks to complete.

“The government knows what it needs to do, and it’s pulling our leg with this plan,” Guillermo Dietrich, head of the Automotive Chamber of Commerce, told Reuters yesterday.

To use the government bonds to buy cars, holders must switch them back into pesos at an exchange rate of 1.40 per dollar — well below the current market rate of 3.63, Reuters said.

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Analysts told Reuters that the consumer must then negotiate the value at which the government will buy back the bonds, which could shave another 50% of the value.

Once that is done, a complicated series of wire transfers of cash and bonds follows in a process those in the industry said could take on average a total of 30 days to complete, Reuters added.

Under such terms, few if any Argentines are expected to take advantage of the plan, Reuters said.