Auto imports plunge by more than 41 percent

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 18, 2015-

Automobile imports plunged by 41.46 percent in the first four months of the fiscal year as customs points remained shut due to prolonged Tarai unrest and India-imposed trade blockade.

Imports of vehicles and parts from India dipped 43.3 percent in the period between mid-June and mid October compared to the same period a year ago. Around 90 percent of two- and four-wheelers sold in the domestic market is imported from India.

As per the Nepal Rastra 

Bank’s macroeconomic report, the country imported vehicles 

and parts worth Rs8.38 billion in the review period compared to Rs14.7 billion in the same period a year ago.

The imports from countries other than India amounted to Rs884.6 million, down from Rs1.38 billion, while those from China stood at Rs381.8 million, down from Rs395.2 million.

Dealers said the sales too have declined by 40-80 percent over the past three months. On one hand, the traders have not been able to import adequate vehicles due to disturbances at border points, and on the other, the demand too has fallen sharply.

Usually, the September-November period is when 35-40 percent of annual vehicle sales takes place, but this year, the 

customers are even cancelling bookings placed at the Nada 

Auto Show held in September. The expo had recorded bookings worth Rs5 billion.

The dealers have not been able to deliver vehicles even to those who have stuck to their bookings. They said only 20 percent of 

the total bookings have been delivered so far.

“As the blockade has badly affected the people’s lives, how can we expect them to even think about spending money on luxury products like cars?” asked Sunil Chhetri, deputy general manager of GO Automobiles, authorised distributor of Ford cars. “The sector, which had just started to recover after a slowdown due to the April 25 earthquake, is again struggling.

He said 20 percent of the bookings placed at the Nada Auto Show have been cancelled so far. “We have reported 16 percent de-growth, when analysed the data from January to September,” said Chhetri, adding, however, that enquiries have started to increase lately as the blockade at some of the border points have relatively eased.

Prabin Khatiwada, business head of passenger vehicles unit at Sipradi Trading, authorised distributor of Tata vehicles, said their car sales have dropped 40 percent. “Thirty percent of the bookings placed at the Nada Auto Show have been cancelled as people are struggling to get fuel and we are not being able to deliver vehicles,” said Khatiwada, adding Sipradi has started to reroute is shipments to Bhairahawa customs point.

Published: 18-12-2015 10:12

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