Nepali market for Chinese cars growing slowly
Published on August 24, 2011 by Tycho de Feijter
KATHMANDU– Although Chinese cars are being introduced in the Nepali market in a big way, they are still struggling to make their presence in Nepal. The market share of Chinese vehicles in Nepal stood just at around 3 percent in the last fiscal year, according to data of Department of Transport Management.
But the dealers, who are selling Chinese cars in the market, are upbeat about the good performance of Chinese cars in the coming days, Republica daily reported on Tuesday.
“Japanese and S. Korean cars also passed though similar situation when they were introduced here. The market of Chinese cars is growing slowly throughout the world. 10 years down the line, Chinese cars will stand as one of the major players in the market,” said Prabal Saakha, managing director of Saakha and Universal Automobile – the authorized distributor of Geely cars for Nepal.
Chinese companies have started exporting their cars in different parts of the world and it is building trust gradually.” Building trust is not easy and won’t happen overnight,” Saakha was quoted by the daily as saying.
Constant Business Group — the dealer of Zyote and UFO cars for Nepal — is also experiencing better response toward Chinese cars in Nepal. “The scenario would have been a lot better had the market situation not worsened in the last fiscal year,” said Rajesh Kaji Shrestha, managing director of Constant Business Group.
Shrestha echoed Saakha and said he sees Chinese and Indian cars leading the passenger cars segment after a decade.
Dealers claim that the quality of Chinese vehicles is improving tremendously. “Earlier, Chinese car manufacturer had short term strategy and they considered sales as the final step of their business,” Saakha said, adding “now, they are focusing on after sales services, spare parts and resale value as well. This will make positive impact in the market sooner or later.”
Many international brands are shifting their production facilities to China because of cheap labor cost. The government is also encouraging international business houses to open their factories in China by offering them different incentives.
“Majority of Nepalis are not economically comfortable due to which they look for cheaper products. Nobody else can offer cheaper products than our neighboring countries,” said Saakha, expressing hope that Chinese cars will be popular here in the coming days due to their competitive advantage in terms of prices.