2016, a robust year for two-wheelers

KATHMANDU: After going through several hurdles in 2015, the two-wheeler industry in Nepal not only made a comeback but also emerged stronger than ever in the year 2016. The industry, which had to face a tough time during the massive earthquake of April 2015, followed by the border blockade, witnessed significant decline in sales in 2015.  However, 2016 proved to be a good year for the domestic two-wheeler industry  as it accelerated in top gear. Compared to 2014 (as 2015 was passive for the industry), the domestic two-wheeler industry experienced a growth of over 50 per cent.

“The year 2015 was huge learning curve for the domestic two-wheeler industry as we faced deceleration in the market,” shared Shekhar Golchha, Executive Director of HH Bajaj, authorised distributor of Bajaj, adding that however, the industry bounced back strongly in 2016. According to him, there was over 60 per cent growth in sales of two-wheelers in comparison to 2014. “Flexible auto loans, easy finance and bounce back effect from the 2015 tragedy were the major contributors to the growth,” he said, adding that the rise in demand from the rural market (due to remittance inflow) helped increase sales.

He informed that Bajaj will be launching at least six new models this year, which will be revealed by January-end or February. “We aim to remain in the position of the market leaders in the addressable segment. We are expecting to command around 50 per cent market shares in the motorcycle segment,” he claimed.  However, Golchha asserted that this year such growth might not be witnessed.

“The beginning of 2016 was slow due to the blockade; however the rest of the year had been buoyant,” shared Abheek Jyoti, Chairman of Nepal General

Marketing, authorised distributor of Hero, adding that the two-wheeler industry has seen extraordinary growth and the volumes have been unprecedented for the domestic market. He informed that the industry has witnessed a growth of over 50 per cent as compared to 2014. “A slump could be expected in 2017,” he claimed, adding that increment of prices of two-wheelers in Nepal due to the implementation of emission standard IV in India and demonetisation of Indian currency might slow down sales.  “This year we are expecting higher engine (180cc above) models, which were revealed in the 2016 India Auto Show. We want to maintain our strong hold in the 100 cc and 125 cc segment and continue to be deluxe segment leaders,” revealed Jyoti.

AGM-Sales and Business Development, Yamaha Division at MAW, Deepak Rouniya informed that in 2016 the industry size doubled in comparison to 2014, offering immense opportunity for competing brands to cash in. “In 2017 two-wheeler market is also expected to grow largely. It is less likely to adopt a similar trend to that of 2016 but the market consumption has grown significantly over the few years and the trend is likely to continue for at least a couple of more years,” he said. “We aim to achieve approximately 50,000 sales in the fiscal year 2073 /74. We are well ahead of our target and we intend to achieve it well before the fiscal ends,” stated Rouniya.