Half a dozen new models of four-wheelers are waiting to be rolled out in the Nepali market. These hatchbacks, sedans and compact sports utility vehicles (SUVs) will be arriving in the country
in the next three months. Auto dealers have said that some of the vehicles are completely new models while others are upgraded versions.
Laxmi Intercontinental, the authorised distributor of Hyundai cars in Nepal, has said that it plans to bring Hyundai’s compact sedan XCent by the end of July. The automobile, which is based on the same platform
as its previous compact car the Grand i10, will be available in two engine options — 1.2 litre and 1.1 litre diesel.
Rupesh Sharma Bhatta, assistant general manager at sales and marketing at Laxmi Intercontinental, said that the car would be priced between Rs 2.8 million and Rs 3.2 million in the domestic market. He added that it would compete with the Honda Amaze and the Maruti Suzuki Swift.
“As Hyundai has a strong presence in the compact sedan market with a 31 percent share, the Xcent will help to boost the market share further,” he said.
Likewise, the company will be launching the Hyundai Ix 25 compact SUV in the domestic market. It was recently unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show 2014. According to Bhatta, the car will arrive in the Nepali market after its launch in India. The vehicle is 4,270 mm long, 1,780 mm wide and 1,630 mm tall, and is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol or diesel engine. According to the company, the exterior of the car has been designed with the Hyundai Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design theme which gives a pretty look.
“The details of the India launch have not been revealed yet, but if the car is unveiled in India by October-November, it will arrive in the Nepali market before the end of the year,” he said. “The Ix 25 will offer competition against the Ford Eco Sport in the market.”
Meanwhile, Sipradi Trading, the authorised distributor of Tata Motors in Nepal, will be launching two new small cars, the Bolt hatchback and the Zest, an entry-level sedan. Both the cars were unveiled at the Delhi Auto Show 2014, and they will hit the Nepali market by September.
Prabin Khatiwada, head of the passenger car division at Sipradi, said that the Bolt would be priced between Rs 2.6 million to Rs 2.8 million while the Zest would cost Rs 3 million. According to him, both the cars will feature the new 1.2-litre Revotron petrol engine. The company plans to sell 700 units this year.
Similarly, Continental Associates, the authorised distributor of Kia Motors in Nepal, is all set to roll out its new and upgraded Soul 2014 SUV in the market by next week. The Soul comes in diesel and petrol variants.
Ugendra Shrestha, assistant general manager at Continental, said that though the car would be equipped with the same engine as in the previous model, it would have lots of changes in the interior and exterior. The company has already opened bookings for this SUV. According to Shrestha, it has priced the petrol variant at Rs 4.7 million and the diesel variant at Rs 5.1 million in the domestic market. “I hope it will enhance our position in the SUV market, and I think it will be competing with the Ford Eco Sport in the Nepali market,” he said. The company plans to sell 100 units of the vehicle this year.
As more middle-income people have been buying passenger cars encouraged by easier auto loans and road expansion projects across the country, the domestic four-wheeler market has been witnessing fast growth in recent months.
Domestic traders are upbeat about sales of their new models due to current market trends. According to the Department of Transport Management, the number of vehicle registrations is likely to surpass last year’s figure.