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INTERVIEW WITH RUPESH SHARMA BHATTA: HYUNDAI NEPAL

rupeshsharmabhattahyundainepalRupesh Sharma Bhatta, Asst. General Manager –Sales and Marketing, Hyundai Nepal, spoke to Autolife about the overall Nepali marketdynamics and Hyundai’s newest offering, the Creta. Excerpts:

If you could sum up the recently concluded NADA Auto Show in a paragraph, then what would it be?

The 2015 NADA Auto Show was fabulous. We’ve got a lot of good response from the visitors. Not only did the Creta dominate the show, the Elite i20 and i20 Active also stole the limelight.

Which segment is doing well for Hyundai in Nepal? Hatchback, SUVs or sedan?
Since hatchbacks constitute around 70-80% of the Nepali market, our hatchbacks are performing well in this market. Regardless, most of our models do well in their respective segment.

The Creta has taken the Nepalese four-wheelers market by storm. What makes Creta the best value for money proposition?
The Creta is an influential global model for Hyundai in the highly lucrative compact SUV segment. It has one of the most powerful engines in this segment. It is also high on features in terms of safety as well as also in terms of transmission giving an option of manual and automatic transmission both. Likewise, the Creta is feature-rich and comes at an attractive price range as compared with the current products that are available in this segment. Also, people rate our brand highly for quality, durability and premium appeal.

25How long is the waiting period of the Creta in Nepal?
Due to high demand and the recent Terai crisis, we are unable to quote a definitive delivery timeline. However, depending on the variants, the waiting period of the Creta is approximately 2 months.hyundaielitei20nepal9How has the overall response of the Elite i20 and i20 Active been in Nepal?
We are overwhelmed by the enquiries we’ve been receiving from our prospective customers. With the type of enquiries we are receiving at our dealerships and with the turnout at our dealerships for test drives, we hope that both these cars will fare well in the market.

What factors do Nepalese look for while buying a new vehicle?
There are many things a Nepali customer looks for while buying a new car but one important factor is the value for money. Many see ‘value for money’ as being something more significant than just cost or price. The Nepali customers look for exterior and interior designs and styling that is unique from other cars in the same segment. Besides, fuel economy, after-sales service, and spare parts availability are definitely on their mind. Also, customer service is vital to the customers – from pre sales to post sales.1Has the Creta’s pricing cannibalized the market for i20 Active?
The higher variant of the i20 Active Diesel might have been slightly cannibalized. However, customers who opt for features are not affected by this cannibalization.

What are the biggest challenges for Hyundai in the Nepali market?
The Nepali market is a competitive market and we are happy that we already have a strong foothold in here. As a key player in the Nepali automobile sector, our key strengths outweigh the challenges. Not only the purchasing power of the customer is growing at a tremendous phase, it is also going through a period of transition with a potential consumer base in many untapped sectors.vernaLastly, what other products are in the pipeline apart from the New Tucson?
We’ve already launched four vehicles this year- the new Verna, Elite i20, i20 Active and the Creta. The new Tucson will be our final launch this year.

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