Print Edition - 2014-06-17 | MONEY
Two-wheeler registration drops 10pc to 132k units
Jun 16, 2014-
Registration of two-wheelers fell 10 percent in the first 10 months of this fiscal year with 131,917 units being registered compared to 147,283 in the same period last year, said the Department of Transport Management.
Automobile dealers said that motorcycle sales plunged mainly due to the tougher tests for driving licences and increasing preference for cars among the public induced by rising incomes.
“The government has introduced a new process for obtaining driving licences for two-wheeler riders without proper infrastructure which has discouraged people from buying motorcycles,” said Shekhar Golchha, president of the Nepal Automobile Dealers’ Association (Nada). Bike riders have to give tougher tests nowadays compared to the past.
Golchha also said that urban middle class people had been upgrading to cars from bikes which also contributed to the fall in two-wheeler registration. Easier and cheaper bank credit has encouraged the middle class to buy four-wheelers. “Banks are more interested in financing purchase of cars than motorcycles,” said Golchha.
Despite the overall slump in bike registration, dealers are excited at the increased demand for two-wheelers from rural areas where remittance has become a huge source of income for the general people. Increased road access has also led to a rise in demand for two-wheelers in rural areas. Auto dealers said that increased income had led people to move to urban centres resulting in swelling demand for means of transportation. “We are witnessing increasing demand from places outside the Kathmandu valley like Butwal, Chitwan, Birgunj and Nepalgunj among other urban centres these days,” said Dinesh Ratna Bajracharya, head of the Hero division at Nepal General Marketing, the authorised distributor of Hero motorcycles in Nepal.
According to him, monthly sales of motorcycles and scooters amount to 3,000 units. “Around 40 percent of the total sales are taking place outside the Kathmandu valley,” he added.
Auto dealers have complained that despite the rise in demand for two-wheelers, the growth rate has slowed this year. “Even though we are seeing a certain amount of growth since the launch of motorcycles like the Hero iSmart and a modified version of the Hero Xtreme and the Hero Pleasure scooter, the overall growth rate has come down,” said Bajracharya.
While bike sales have been not so encouraging, people’s increased interest in scooters has caught the eye of auto dealers. Gaurav Hamal, marketing manager of MAW Enterprises, the authorised distributor of Yamaha motorcycles in Nepal, said scooter sales had almost doubled compared to last year.
Similarly, Rajan Raj Puri, manager, Honda division at Syakar Trading, the authorized distributor of Honda bikes and scooters in Nepal, said that increased sales of scooters had made up for the fall in motorcycle sales. “The scooter market has been growing by around 25 percent in recent days,” he added.
Published: 17-06-2014 09:41