KARACHI: Truck sales, considered an indicator of commercial activity (import/export trade), grew by 36 per cent in the first seven months (July-January) of this fiscal year.
All told, 1,249 trucks were sold during the period compared to 919 in the same period last year. All the four local assemblers — Hino, Nissan, Master and Isuzu — improved their sales by 24pc, 49pc, 20pc and 86.6pc, respectively.
Figures of Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) showed that the market leader Hino sold 551 trucks compared to 443 units, while the sales of Nissan, Master and Isuzu increased to 167, 266 and 265 units compared to 112, 222 and 142 units, respectively.
However, much support to the industry came from persistent positive growth of large-scale manufacturing data coupled with falling imports of used and new heavy vehicles.
Pakistan’s year-on-year exports rose to $14.7 billion from $14.07bn in July-January 2013-2014, while imports stood at $25.8bn compared to $25.68bn.
A leading heavy vehicle assembler attributed the rise in truck sales to overall positive economic indicators backed by increasing goods movement by land and sea.
He said the remaining five months of the current fiscal year may also bode well for the truck makers in view of positive GDP growth forecast.
“We are getting more orders for trucks while sale negotiations are continuously being held with transporters of goods,” the assembler said.
However, he was not satisfied with the overall 11pc jump in sales of buses in the last seven months. He added that there was intense competition in bus segment, especially with a Korean bus assembler.
There was some good support from public transporters and institutional buying which pushed overall bus sales to 330 compared with 298 in the year-ago period.
Out of total sales, Hino’s bus sales rose by 14pc to 285 units compared to 249 units. Other assemblers like Nissan, Master and Isuzu continued to struggle. Nissan sales stood at six units compared to zero in July-January 2012-2013. Only three units of Master and 36 units of Isuzu were sold compared to 4 and 45 units, respectively.
According to the figures of All Pakistan Motor Dealers Association, only one used trucks/spraying lorries arrived in July-December 2013 under personal baggage scheme while there was zero arrival of bus and dumpers/mixers. In new vehicle category, 15 trucks/spraying lorries and 128 dumpers/mixer trucks were imported in July-December 2013.
There was no arrival of used bus and dumpers/mixer trucks during July-December 2012, while 10 used trucks/spraying lorries were imported. Import of new 95 new buses, 698 trucks/spraying lorries and 115 dumpers/mixer trucks was recorded in July-December 2012.