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Auto dealers rue lack of bigger exhibition halls

Kathmandu, August 24, 2016: As the 11th edition of the Nada Auto Show is set to kick off at Bhrikutimandap in Kathmandu from August 30, automobile dealers have complained about the lack of bigger exhibition halls.

The number of auto dealers willing to partake at the annual exhibition has been rising, but they have been forced to adjust with limited spaces.

During a roundtable organised in Kathmandu, the auto dealers said an event like the Nada Auto Show needs space thrice the size of the Bhrikumandap exhibition hall.

According to Nepal Automobile Dealers’ Association (Nada), the six-day event will showcase the latest vehicles and accessories of 74 companies from 30 countries. The organiser said 16 four-wheeler brands, 15 two-wheeler brands and five heavy equipment brands will participate at the expo.

Former Nada President Saurav Jyoti said the existing exhibition hall is not enough for large-scale exhibitions. “The private sector is ready to invest, but the cost of land in the core city is very high and the private sector may not afford to take risks,” he said. “So an exhibition hall can be constructed under public-private partnership,” he said.

Vehicle imports are on the rise. Registration of new vehicles in Bagmati zone jumped by a whopping 77.86 percent year-on-year in 2015-16 despite a four-and-half-month-long Indian trade embargo that crippled imports, according to Transport Management Office, Bagmati.

According to the dealers, auto sales outside the Kathmandu Valley have also been rising in recent years. Zones such as Lumbini, Narayani and Koshi are catching up with Bagmati in terms of two-wheeler registration.

According to official data for 2015-16, Bagmati saw registrations of 64,927 motorcycles and scooters, followed by Lumbini with 56,793, Narayani with 48,196 and Koshi with 42,429.