Interview with Ritu Vaidya, Managing Director, United Traders Syndicate
Kathmandu, March 30, 2017: United Traders Syndicate (UTS), the sole distributor of Toyota vehicles and parts in Nepal, has completed 50 years of operations. The automobile distributor has been credited with contributing to the development of transportation in the country by introducing the Japanese vehicle brand. UTS signed an agreement with Toyota Motor Corporation in 1967 and sold the first car, a Toyota Corona, in 1969. The Kathmandu Post caught up with Managing Director Ritu Vaidya of UTS to discuss the company’s performance and future plans. Excerpts:
It has been five decades since Toyota debuted in Nepal. How do you review your presence here?
We look at it as a very progressive and pleasant journey where we have been able to cater reliability, durability and best quality to all our customers. As we offered a sound combination of reliability, durability and quality, we also grew along with our parent company. We always felt safe whenever a person came to our showroom and bought a car because we knew that he or she would have a great journey and would come back to us.
You are opening a new service centre today. What will be its special features?
We are relocating to new state-of-the-art premises at Dhumbarahi where we will have a very well equipped workshop. We will be able to give much better service and customer satisfaction to Toyota car users from there. We will offer services like ultra rays vehicle wheel alignment, electronic tyre changer, electronic wheel balancing and automated vehicle under chassis washing within 3 minutes for the first time in Nepal. All these services will give a unique experience to our valued customers.
What are your future plans? What new models will you be introducing in the near future?
Today, we are launching the Innova Crysta and All New Fortuner. Both these models will be a great addition to the list of different variants we are offering to our customers. Likewise, later in 2017, we will be introducing one more variant in the Toyota Etios family. I am sure our customers will have a great experience using these variants.
Recently, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) barred banks from extending auto loans amounting to more than 50 percent of the purchase price of the vehicle. How has the central bank’s move affected your business?
This move has affected the business of the entire automobile industry which is one of the largest taxpayers in the country. Institutions like NRB should not introduce such a policy without planning. If a policy like this is introduced abruptly, it will be very difficult to run our business. I don’t mean to say that banks should be allowed to provide finance up to any level. But it is also not logical to bring down the ceiling to 50 percent at once. At least the central bank should have given us some time and introduced the policy gradually. I urge the concerned authorities to review the decision to make the automobile industry more stable.
What message would you like to give on the occasion of your company’s 50th anniversary?
We will keep bringing in the best cars to the country and hope that our government and the financial sector continue to be stable so that we can keep on growing as we have done in the past decades.