Easy loans push auto imports up

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu / Parsha

May 29, 2014-

Automobile imports have started to pick up in the recent days, thanks to a relatively stable political situation and easy availability of auto loans. The growing four-wheeler market is driving the overall automobile market towards a healthy growth, automobile dealers said.

The Birgunj customs point has witnessed a notable rise in imports of vehicles and spare parts.  Imports of four-wheelers like jeep, car, van, truck, double-cab pickups, including chassis of bus, have increased significantly in the first 10 months of current fiscal year.

In the review period, the customs saw imports of 728 units of car/jeep/van worth Rs 536.6 million, as per the customs office’s record. During the same period a year ago, Nepal had imported 539 units of car/jeep/van worth Rs 304.5 million. Similarly, 247 units of chassis of bus and trucks worth Rs 314 million were imported, against last year’s 182 units worth Rs 223.3 million.

On the list of top 20 import items, jeep/car/van stood at first place while chassis of bus and trucks and double cab pick-ups came 13th, acco-rding to the Birgunj customs record. The office collects revenues worth around Rs 200 million every day.

Tanka Poudel, acting chief of the customs office, attributed the growth in automobile imports to improving economic condition of the country and easy availability of auto loans.

Shekhar Golchha, president of Nepal Automobile Dealers’ Association, said middle-class prosperity and easy availability of bank loan were driving auto sales.

Banks are offering auto loans at around 9 percent per annum. Around two years ago, the interest rate was at 13-17 percent.

Sambhu Dahal, chief executive officer of Sipradi Trading, the sole authorised distributor of Tata Motors, also attributed the rise in auto sales to a stable political situation. “But in the case of bus, the market seems almost stable like in the previous years,” Dahal said, adding there has been a handsome growth in sales of trucks and tippers. “Increased development activities have pushed the demand for trucks and tippers up.”

Dealers said four-wheelers priced up to Rs 3 million were selling well. Besides the Kathmandu valley, the sales have also been good in cities like Pokhara, Biratnagar, Dharan, Itahari, Narayangadh, Butwal and Nepalgunj. Dealers said more than 60 percent of their sales come from outside the valley, unlike a few years ago when the Capital used to top the sales figures.

Published: 30-05-2014 09:20

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