BIRATNAGAR, 11 Jan . Hulas Motors Pvt Ltd, the first vehicle manufacturer in Nepal, has stopped production of Mustang owing to the Euro III standard implemented by the government.

Hulas was given until the end of the last fiscal year to comply with the Euro III standard that was implemented for imported vehicles two years ago. The company, established with investment of Rs 40 million 17 years ago, made the announcement organizing a press conference on Sunday. “The government did not address the problems faced by the first motor company of the country, an industry of national pride, despite being repeatedly informed. We have taken the decision to shut the company down as the historic industry was not promoted,” Managing Director of the company Surendra Golchha said. The company, that started with production of Sherpa and then Mustang Max and Mustang Max V2, said it had to close the factory due to government policy. “The government did not give us adequate time to comply with Euro III standard. We, therefore, had to shut the factory down,” he added.

Hulas had been manufacturing Mustang as per Euro I standard and had requested the government to give it four years to comply with Euro III standard. But the government only gave two years requiring the company to comply by July 13, 2014. “We even manufactured one vehicle as per the Euro III standard within the deadline. But that did not operate properly. The government did not respond when we asked for another year and we have been forced to stop production,” he stated. General Manager Prafulla Chandra Das said the company spent over Rs 5 million for research and trial production of that vehicle as per the Euro III standard.

A total of 200 workers have lost their job after the factory’s closure. The then prime minister Baburam Bhattarai had decided to use a Mustang Max immediately after assuming office to increase its popularity. Golchha rued that the government did not help the company that had to compete with foreign companies with local resources and manpower. He revealed that the company had been manufacturing 70-120 vehicles a year. “The government did not pay attention toward protecting entrepreneurship and promoting manufacturing industry. The country’s economy is becoming import-oriented due to such attitude. The country’s economy is teetering as a result,” he elaborated.

Vehicles produced by the company, costing Rs 1.625 million to Rs 1.85 million, were considered suitable even for middle-class families as they had diesel engines. Its use was rising in remote and hilly areas with the company claiming that over 1,400 Mustang vehicles are operating in those areas. These vehicles are used especially to carry goods and commoners also choose the vehicles as they can run even on dirt roads. There are 14 dealers and over 150 service centers of the company across the country.

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