KARACHI: Buyers of Honda bike models 70cc and 125cc are being asked for premiums by certain authorised dealers of Karachi for the last two and a half years despite record production by Atlas Honda Limited (AHL).
Some authorised showroom owners of Honda at Akbar Road have these bikes on display but are refusing buyers to sell these for cash on spot and are taking at least 15-30 days in delivery to the prospective buyers after booking.
However, some dealers are totally denying having any stock of both these models and also refusing to accept advance booking payments, citing that the company is providing limited stocks which cannot compete with soaring demand.
Some dealers have resorted to black marketing of these bikes, demanding Rs120,000-121,000 (including Rs4,500 registration and taxes) for CG-125cc while its actual price is Rs106,500, plus Rs4,500 for registration and local tax.
Similarly, Rs70,000-72,000 (including Rs4,000 for registration and taxes) are being demanded for Honda 70cc from customers while its original price is Rs63,500 plus Rs4,000 registration and taxes.
In May, the newly launched Honda CB150F bike (Rs159,000) had also become short in supply at the authorised showrooms of Karachi and dealers offered buyers to book the bike and take delivery in 45 days, tentatively. At that time some dealers demanded Rs180,000 for this 150cc bike.
Dealers attribute this situation to the manufacturer’s decision of shifting its bulk supplies towards rural Punjab and Sindh where liquidity position of growers of cotton, sugarcane, rice, wheat etc have improved due to better harvest of these cash crops.
AHL has conveyed that it is taking strict stance against this artificial shortage being created by a cartel of its dealers at Akbar Road who are now transferring the bikes to the interior of the province through wholesale operations.
Chairman Association of Pakistan Motorcycle Assemblers (APMA), Mohammad Sabir Shaikh, said that trucks carrying Honda bikes arrive at night and offload only 10 per cent of their cargo at the authorised showrooms in Karachi while the remaining 90pc of bikes are shipped to the interior of Sindh.
AHL said the supplies of motorcycles to the dealers have been limited to agreed quotas based on their historical sales trend and growth rate. Mr Shaikh also pointed out that good quality of Honda CD-70cc bikes and its stagnant price for the last two and a half years have been giving a tough time to the Chinese bike makers who are unable to compete with their Japanese counterpart.
Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2017