The automobile sector has become very enthusiastic as the government has given huge discounts on various types of taxes emphasizing the promotion of electric vehicles through the budget. Even though, they are not allowed to trade due to the ongoing lockdown, automobiles’ dealers are preparing to enter into aggressive trade as soon as the ban is lifted. In this context, aarthiknews.com had asked Karan Chaudhary, Executive Director of CG Holdings, the official dealer of Maruti Suzuki in Nepal, about the future plans of the company. He also talked on the current obstacles to use electric vehicles in Nepal. Here is the edited version of Chaudhary’s reply:
Government has eased for importing Electric Vehicle (EV) by reducing different tax and tariffs but we haven’t seen that you are interested to import EV, what is the reason? Lockdown or any other?
The current lockdown has not allowed car brands to import EV. The ease of lockdown will help us understand the customer attention to this decision.
What do you think, how the government’s changed policy impact on EV market?
Yes, this will definitely have a positive impact to EV market and will motivate customers to opt for EV vehicles.
Have you started to get purchase order from clients?
Currently Suzuki doesn’t have EV in the portfolio for Nepal but we are getting quite encouraging queries in our digital platforms.
What is your projection that what kinds of models will get high demand on Nepali market?
The EV vehicles options are limited currently, but the decision will open doors for various ranges of EV in Nepal.
We can see the future of EV in Nepal, but what are the current hurdles that you have observed?
There are few challenges still. Main being the EV infrastructure itself, the ease of charging stations tops the infrastructure lists. Other challenges can be seen in management of Lithium-ion batteries as well. Along with development qualified manpower to maintain these vehicles.
I think, you were in process of establishing a vehicles assembling plant in Nepal, where is the process now?
We have finished our feasibility analysis and we are talking ahead to have a JV with Suzuki.
What is the impact of Covid-19 on automobiles sector of Nepal?
The COVID has affected every sector of auto industry, the entire automobile industry had to change the way it operated. Safety and hygiene in operation became the most important aspect. The lock down hurt the industry financially with sales coming to halt, it has other effects like stock holding cost across all the channel, Rise in capital cost and disruption in fund management to name the few.
What do you say, how the instable policy of government affects the automobiles business?
Yes, it does have a prolonged affect in business. First, the instable policy has direct correlation with risk assessment capability of business, which in turn affects the investments and diversification. The other aspect, it reduces consumer confidence reducing the demand.
Can you please describe about the models and features of Suzuki’s EV?
Currently we do not have EV for Nepali market. But we are looking at Suzuki EV available in global market that can be best suited for Nepali market. Plus the Suzuki in India also has plans for EV model introduction.
How do you claim that Suzuki is different than other brands?
Suzuki is a brand known for its Japanese quality. The brand has proven its durability, ease of maintenance and running cost. Apart from same, Suzuki operates the widest network of sales and service outlet and offers the widest options of cars from economic to premium range.