‘People will definitely see world-class auto show this year’The NADA Auto Show, an annual automobile extravaganza, is going on in full swing at the Exhibition Hall in Bhrikuti Mandap. Sanjeev Giri of The Kathmandu Post caught up with Anup Baral, the secretary of Nepal Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA), to talk about what one can expect from the country’s biggest and only auto show.
The NADA Auto Show, an annual automobile extravaganza, is going on in full swing at the Exhibition Hall in Bhrikuti Mandap. Sanjeev Giri of The Kathmandu Post caught up with Anup Baral, the secretary of Nepal Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA), to talk about what one can expect from the country’s biggest and only auto show. Excerpts:
What is the NADA Auto Show 2018 all about?
The NADA Auto Show 2018 is all about what it has always been: wheels. The Nepal Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) was established two decades ago, and so far the association has conducted 13 auto shows. In these two decades, I think NADA has been successful in establishing itself as a well-known brand. The auto show has become ‘the’ platform for dealers to showcase their vehicles to general consumers and increase their brand’s awareness. This year too we are expecting a significant number of auto enthusiasts to come and see the wheels on display.
What should people look forward to this year?
Almost all major automobile brands in the country are participating in the auto show this year, which is in itself a reason for people to look forward to the show. As many as 74 companies are participating in the auto show this time. There are 19 stalls belonging to four-wheelers, 20 stalls showcasing two-wheelers and accessories, 14 stalls featuring batteries, 12 stalls showcasing lubricants, six stalls showcasing tyres and 14 stalls showcasing garage equipments.
Moreover, we also have two stalls for the traffic police, while two stalls have been dedicated for the media wherein they can have their own temporary set-up for conducting interviews and the likes. There are two food stalls as well.
What makes this auto show different in comparison to its previous editions?
There isn’t any fundamental difference. However, the scale of the presentation of vehicle stalls has changed as it has with every new edition. This will continue to persist in the days to come. Apart from the exhibition hall, there’ll be three exhibition dorms in the premises of Bhrikuti Mandap, which will show how the auto show is getting more stylish and vibrant with each year. People will definitely see a world-class auto show this year.
Many view NADA of just being an institution focused to sell vehicles. What is your take on that?
Given the fact that NADA conducts only one auto show on an annual basis, people might have perceived the institution that way. But NADA is much more than just that. As of the last Annual General Meeting, the association has over 900 members. This means, NADA is the link between all 900 automobiles dealers
and traders across the nation. The association also conducts awareness campaigns on tax issues wherein government officials are roped in to shed some light on issues that need to be taken into account by entrepreneurs.
NADA also works with the local traffic police to help enhance their performance by organising an awarding ceremony, where we award three officers for best performance. Moreover, the institution also stands at the apex body of the country’s automobile sector and lobbies for the betterment and strengthening of the sector.
Yet, some people have accused NADA of not raising pertinent issues strongly, such as the discourse on electric vehicles.
NADA has been vocal about several issues in the transportation and automobile sector. We have raised the issue of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in several forums and even during interactions with government officials. We are
not against such vehicles. In fact, we have been urging concerned stakeholders to start preparations for EVs. There needs to be charging stations set in several places. Moreover, we should also prepare a policy on the type of EVs we plan to import. EVs should be powerful enough to match the pace of petrol or diesel engines to ensure efficient traffic.
Apart from this, we have also been lobbying with the government to give due importance to the sector, as it is an integral part of the national economy.