Car sale drops last year

Vehicle sale in Bhutandropped last year, but the number still passed the healthy revenue generator for second hand cars brokers.

Vehicle showrooms sold more than 1,500 new cars. Although buyers spent more on vehicles, showrooms had to prop up sales with record discounts, according to vehicle sold report 2019.

Following a long trend, around 70% of new vehicles sold last year were Creta, Venue, I-20 Active.Cretawas the highest sales in the market and sold around 80% last year.

Other car sales fell once again, by 5-10%, according to sales reports,includingSantro, Tucson and Sonata among others. 

“Already existing cars were sold by brokers with actual price and customer are reluctant to buy new ones,” said one of the sales executive adding that cars like Santro and Alto are among those which are in most showrooms but cannot be sold as per price.

Sales at second hand cars brokers fell around 20% last year. Around 76 second cars were sold by the two brokers in Thimphu, last year.

The second car brokers predicted that more than half the new vehicles sold last year were Creta, passing 50%market share for the first time. And second car including Alto, Santro and MarutiVan dropped to 20%.

 “People prefer second hand cars with these brands, we are selling these cars at low rates as per the model and conditions,” said a dealer of second cars.

One of the brokers said, last year’s sales numbers defied the odds compare to past years, especially because new vehicles rates and prices squeezed some buyers.“People tend to buy second hand cars in good condition,” he said.

He added that most of the cars they get are from people who pursue studies abroad while some want to buy new cars. “Around 30-35 cars were sold from mybroker’s showroom last year,” he added.

The average new-vehicle sale price in last year hit an estimated Nu 500,00-900,000 without quota and including of all taxes.Setting a record, according to price of car, Creta andVenue prices hit Nu 600,000-1.3mn with quota and Nu 900,000-1.7mn without quota including all taxes rising from 2018. Car prices averaged Nu 1,283,354 a small increase from the previous year.

Also for the first time, Venue pickup beat the Creta in half-year sales as Venue cars were imported in September, last year.

“As prices become more attractive and more people seek to own brands like ours, the market will surely expand these rates,” one dealer said.

Meanwhile, among other cars, Creta, at a price of Nu 859,000 (showroom) for the petrol version and Nu 946,000 for the diesel version took on rivals like Mahindra Scorpio, Duster and Nissan.

The middle and top end petrol version of Creta are available at Nu 957,000 and Nu 1.19mn respectively. All versions of petrol are powered by a 1.6 liter petrol engine. However, in diesel there are two engine options: 1.4 liters and 1.6 liters.

Kinley Yonten from Thimphu