Vehicle prices up for another increase soon

Several auto dealers in Bhutan had already hiked the prices of vehicles in January this year

After the last revision of prices in January this year, many auto dealers in Bhutan are expecting another hike in the prices of vehicles soon.

While the Toyota vehicles dealer like the State Trading Corporation of Bhutan (STCBL), which mainly deals with Toyota vehicles from India, Japan and Thailand, has already revised their prices in April 6, other auto dealers like Dhejung Motors, Bhutan Hyundai Motors and Zimdra Automobiles are anticipating an increase in prices by the end of this month.

The reasons for many auto dealers in Bhutan expecting an increase in the prices of vehicles again are because of the procurement cost of materials still rising and the unstable geo-political situation.

Due to the current geo-political situation and other factors like the Russia-Ukraine war and the resurgence of the Covid-19 wave in China, the UK and the US playing a big role disrupting the supply parts and materials, auto dealers say they are again anticipating a further rise in the prices of vehicles.

Meanwhile, several auto dealers in Bhutan had already hiked the prices of vehicles in January this year.

An official from the Bhutan Hyundai Motors in Thimphu said, “Given that Bhutan imports the bulk of its vehicles from India, which in turn imports the majority of its supply components and materials from the third countries, the impact will be seen in Bhutan as well, in the form of increased vehicles’ prices.”

He added that apart from bigger Hyundai SUVs like Tucson and Santa Fe, all other vehicles like the i20, Santro, Creta and Venue are imported from India. Bigger SUVs and Electric Vehicles (EVs) are imported from Korea.

During the price revision in January, the SUV Creta and SUV Venue had the most significant price changes. The price of the Creta was raised by 2.6%, while the price of the SUV Venue was raised by 4%.

The Hyundai Venue, SX +1.0 Turbo Petrol DCT DT Sport, was previously priced at Nu 1,569,356, but it is now priced at Nu 1,596,577 inclusive of all taxes.

Similarly, the Hyundai Creta, 1.4 Petrol Turbo SX (0) DCT DT model, which was available for Nu 2,097,669 now costs Nu 2,104,163.

And while they don’t know the precise amounts of the increase, an official from the Zimdra Automobiles’ showroom in Thimphu said, “It will all depend on the manufacturer from whom we buy. But looking at the current circumstances, we are anticipating an increase in prices in the coming months.”

Meanwhile, the prices of smaller vehicles such as Alto and Santro have also seen revision in the beginning of this year, making it costlier by around Nu 5,000.

And while consumers continue to face extreme inflation in all sectors, customers, who have placed an order for their vehicles at the end of last year, may have to pay more than the prices that were at the time of placing their order.

According to the Bhutan Hyundai Motors’ official, Creta being the best seller and popular among the people, they received a lot of orders. However, the delivery was delayed because of the lockdown at the start of this year. Further, the Hyundai company in India, which is the main supplier of SUV Creta from India, had a bad experience previously while having to bear the high cost of transportation and logistics when the consignment was stuck in the Indian border town of Jaigaon for a long time due to the lockdown and closure of the Bhutan Gate.

“They decided to deliver the vehicles later when the situation becomes more favorable. However, those who placed an order earlier in August and September of 2021 must face the rise in vehicle prices and will have to pay more than the prices that were at the time of making an order,” the official said.

Tshering Pelden from Thimphu