Auto industry remains standstill


Nepali automobile industry has remained standstill for the last few months due to the political crisis. As the blockade that began at the onset of the festive season continued till date, thousands of vehicles of different brands are stuck at various custom points. Consequently, Nepali automobile dealers could not deliver vehicles booked during the NADA Auto Show 2015. Moreover, fuel shortage has largely discouraged new buyers and added woes in the day-to-day mobility of the city dwellers.

Usually the domestic automobile industry used to be vibrant during the festive season as more than 40 per cent of the total automobile sales for the year take place during this time. However, the festive season this year went tasteless as all the attractive festive offers went in vain due to nil transaction during the season. According to automobile dealers, the industry has incurred a loss of over Rs four billion due to the blockade.

“As the overall economic cycle of the country has been affected by the long-standing blockade, automobile industry is no exception,” said Sunil Chhetri, Deputy General Manager at GO Automobiles, authorised distributor of Ford. According to him, the domestic automobile dealers were confined with the vehicles in their stock as there was no possibility of importing new ones. “The customers have a mixed reaction about purchasing new cars,” he said, adding that some are in wait and watch mode while some have started to change their minds.

Chhetri informed that recently some 50 units of different models of cars have reached their showrooms. “It would take around two years or even more to recover the industry that has gone down to nil,” he said, adding that again the pace of recovery will largely depend on the government policy on it.

“As the dealers could not deliver vehicles due to the blockade during the festive season, the industry had to incur 100 per cent loss,” said Rupesh Sharma Bhatta, Assistant General Manager at Laxmi Intercontinental, authorised distributor of Hyundai Motors. Citing that as of now, customer are in wait and watch mood, he said, “If we can retain customers, the earlier bookings will turnout.” He is of the opinion that the industry would make a comeback if the government comes up with progressive plans and policies to revive the crisis hit industries.

“The automobile industry was completely shattered due to the blockade coupled with acute fuel shortage,” shared Karan Chaudhary, Executive Director of CG MotoCorp, authorised distributor of Maruti Suzuki, adding that the customers are largely discouraged due to the adverse situation in the country. “The industry have incurred a loss of over Rs four billion, if we assume

at least 2,000 cars worth Rs two million each would have been sold during the festive season,” he said.

Citing that they have not been able to deliver the vehicles booked during the NADA Auto Show, Chaudhary said, the industry will make a comeback within some six to seven months if the government comes up with concrete plans policies to facilitate the industry to revive.