Money

Nepal bought cars valued at Rs18b in 2018

- KRISHANA PRASAIN, Kathmandu

Jan 8, 2019-

Auto imports continue to swell even as economists wail about the expense and yawning trade deficit. Nepal imported SUVs and vans worth Rs17.85 billion in fiscal 2017-18, up from Rs15.20 billion in the previous fiscal year, the Trade and Export Promotion Centre said. In the first four months of the current fiscal year 2018-19 that began in mid-July, passenger vehicles valued at Rs6.37 billion entered the country.

The Department of Transport Management registered 14,452 cars, jeeps and vans in fiscal year 2017-18 in Bagmati zone alone. The countrywide total reached 24,338 vehicles.

According to Kiran Acharya, assistant manager marketing of Life Automobile, the company sold 105 units of Jeep Compass in two months. Life Automobile is the authorised distributor of Jeep four-wheelers in Nepal. It officially launched the Jeep Compass at the Nepal Automobile Dealers Association Auto Show 2018. 

The Jeep Compass Sports (petrol version) and the Jeep Compass Limited 4X4 (diesel version) are the preferred Compass variants, he said. The vehicle costs between Rs7.6 million and Rs9.8 million and comes in 10 variants. 

According to him, the Compass is an iconic SUV and has a high brand value in its segment. Premium design, convenience and more than 150 safety features are the main reasons why customers prefer the Compass, he said. The company plans to roll out the Trial Hawk, a new variant of the Compass, and the Jeep Wrangler this year. 

Pooja International Nepal, the authorised distributor of Volkswagen, sold around 500 units of the Polo in 2018, said Prabodh Shrestha, senior manager sales. A premium vehicle at an affordable price is the main reason behind the high sales, he said. The Polo costs between Rs2.7 million and Rs15.8 million. He added that the company was planning to introduce electric passenger vehicles this year. 

The Tata Nexon and the Tiago are the highest selling passenger vehicles, Sipradi Trading said. Around 1,000 units of the Tata Nexon and around 850 units of the Tiago have been sold since their launch last February. Sipradi Trading is the authorised distributor of Tata passenger vehicles in the country. 

Srijan Nepal, deputy manager marketing, said the market was shifting towards CUVs. A reasonable price is one of the main reasons why the Nexon is the highest selling vehicle in Tata’s stable, he said. Tata Nexon prices range from Rs3.4 million to Rs4.3 million while the Tiago has a price tag of Rs2.4 million to Rs3.9 million.

The Mahindra P4 and Mahindra P6 were the highest selling models in 2018 for Agni Incorporated, the authorised distributor of Mahindra vehicles in Nepal. The company sold 120 units of the P4 and P6. The P4 costs Rs2.1 million and the P6 costs Rs2.2 million. 

The Brezza and the Celerio were the highest selling Suzuki passenger vehicles in 2018, said CG Motocorp, the authorised distributor for Suzuki four-wheelers in Nepal. The company sold around 800 units of each model in 2018, said Karun Shakya, senior marketing manager. He added that the Celerio was the perfect family car because of its good mileage and reasonable price. The company plans to introduce several new models in 2019. 

Published: 08-01-2019 07:30

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