Auto enthusiasts to miss NADA Auto Show this year as COVID hits industry

Over the years the NADA Auto Show has become synonymous with the onset of the festive season. However, automobile enthusiasts this year will not be able to satiate their cravings of viewing new launches or picking up cheaper bargains.

Photo source: NADA official website

KATHMANDU: Automobile enthusiasts this year will not be able to satiate their cravings of viewing new launches or picking up cheaper bargains as the NADA Automobiles Association of Nepal (NADA) will not be able to host the NADA Auto Show 2020, an automobile extravaganza.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the sector so bad that dealers at present are only looking at ways to sustain their businesses. Increasing the number of customers and sales has taken a backseat for all the dealers during this crisis and they have dim hopes of being able to organize the show even in February next year.

Over the years the NADA Auto Show has become synonymous with the onset of the festive season. As soon as organizers start decorating the Bhrikutimandap Exhibition Hall for the show it is a sign that Dashain and Tihar are round the corner.

Photo source: NADA official website

New launches, enticing offers and heavy discounts – everything that an automobile enthusiast would look for are offered at the show. It has also become a lucrative platform for the dealers who register one-third of their annual sales at this event. As per organizers, automobile companies record up to 30 percent of their annual sales during the expo itself.

Another encouraging aspect is that the number of visitors thronging the event has always been increasing with every edition. In fact, in recent years organizers have started receiving complaints from visitors regarding the congested space and mismanagement of the crowd. In the last two editions the number of visitors rose by a whopping 24 percent.

“The flow of visitors has been gradually rising every year and likewise the number of participants and new brands being introduced has also been increasing with each edition,” informed Krishna Prasad Dulal, president of NADA.

However, this year the pandemic has hit the auto industry severely limiting the focus of auto dealers to sustaining their business first. “Even the auto manufacturing companies across the world are almost completely closed now due to the pandemic. Moreover, with travel restrictions imposed in different corners of the world, importing and selling automobiles have become next to impossible,” he stated. “So, right now our only priority is to be able to sustain our business.”

Meanwhile, Dulal mentioned that if the situation normalizes and mass gatherings are allowed then the NADA Auto Show could be held in late February next year. “But looking at how things have been developing I doubt if that too will be possible,” he added.

The 14th edition of the auto show was inaugurated on August 27, 2019 and lasted for six days with various companies like BYD, Datsun, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Renault, Skoda, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen and Yamaha gracing the event. According to Dulal, a virtual auto show could be worked out with the help of the Federation of Nepali Journalists but it is quite a difficult proposition.

Photo source: NADA official website

Auto dealers who used to be busy around this season in previous years dealing with potential clients with various schemes and offers at the auto show are this year confined to their showrooms. Most customers also prefer to buy vehicles during the festive season because of the heavy discounts that are on offer along with exchange valuation, exchange bonuses and comparatively cheaper accessories.

“NADA is the platform from where booking for vehicle sales start for the festive season. Thirty percent of our annual sales are made during Dashain and Tihar and we offer various schemes to our customers,” said Karun Shakya, senior manager – Marketing, Maruti Suzuki, CG Motocorp.

Though the auto show will not be held this year dealers are offering the same benefits that they would have during the event to customers. “We are providing discounts of up to Rs 225,000, auto insurance and exchange bonus. The offers and discount schemes are the same as in the auto show but the features are different depending on the models,” revealed Shakya.

Likewise, Mega Motors has also started utilizing the digital platform as an alternative to attract customers and facilitate them. It is hosting a Virtual Auto Show for three days from September 14. According to the company’s Managing Director, Mashesh Pal, the company is displaying all models and details of Nissan and Datsun brands from its showroom via Facebook Live.

Photo source: NADA official website

“The virtual show aims to increase accessibility for customers who are willing to buy vehicles for Dashain as they might be unaware about our offers and services and might be assuming that there is no facility this time due to the pandemic,” said Pal. “Moreover, we are providing additional cash discounts of up to Rs 75,000 besides other festive offers.”

The NADA Auto Show has been organized jointly by NADA and Global Exposition & Management Services since 1998. Though, it is being organized annually in recent years the show was initially held every two years. However, the annual show this year has been interrupted due to the COVID-19.

Fiscal Nepal |
Monday September 14, 2020, 02:33:05 PM |

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