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KARACHI: Pak Suzuki Motor Company Ltd (PSMCL) suffered bigger sales drop compared to Toyota and Honda cars in May over April.

However, barring Toyota Corolla, the sales of all the assemblers during the first 11 months of this fiscal year ended on a positive note despite rising petroleum and vehicles’ prices.

In May, sales of Suzuki Cultus and WagonR plunged to 1,412 and 2,702 from 2.085 and 3,053 units. Mehran and Bolan sales dropped to 3,557 and 1,687 from 4,648 and 2,231 units. Suzuki Swift sales fell to 439 May 2018 from 532 units in April 2018.

A total of 3,750 units of Honda Civic and City were sold in May 2018 versus 4,045 units in April 2018 while Toyota Corolla sales slightly went down to 4,676 from 4,946 units.

It is not clear whether increasing petrol and vehicle prices or the decision barring sales to non-filers – which is effective from July 1, 2018 – had hit the sales in May 2018. All assemblers have stopped taking booking from non-filers from May 22, 2018.

An assembler said January to March is peak buying season while April and May are considered lean period. Sales pick up in June when government’s buying of cars also gets underway.

Spokesperson of Pak Suzuki Motor Company Limited (PSMCL) Shafiq Ahmed Sheikh the production and sales have declined due to less working hours in Ramazan.

In contrast, overall sales of locally assembled cars swelled to 201,134 units in July-May 2017-18 from 172,911 units in same period last fiscal despite rise in petrol and vehicles prices.

Sales of Toyota Corolla plunged to 47,866 units from 49,667 units, while the assembler of Honda City and Civic sold 39,869 units FYJM18 as against 34,896 units.

Among the Suzuki vehicles, the sales of WagonR continued to outperform other vehicles by touching 26,526 units from 16,006 while Suzuki Mehran and Bolan sales rose to 43,007 and 20,181 units from 35,252 and 17,980 units respectively.

According to figures released by Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (Pama), Suzuki Swift and Cultus also recorded robust sales of 4,564 and 19,121 versus 3,871 and 15,238 units.

PSMCL had pushed up prices three times while assemblers of Toyota Corolla and Honda cars raised the rates two times from January 2018 till to date on rising value of imported parts and accessories due to losing value of the rupee against the dollar.

Total sales of trucks climbed to 8,507 as compared to 6,854 units while bus sales plunged to 687 from 1,053 units.

Sales of Toyota Fortuner, Honda BR-V, Suzuki Ravi and Toyota HIlux rose to 3,772, 7,999, 20,327 and 6,882 units from 1,136, 1,403, 16,698 and 5,509 units in FYJM17.

An analyst at Top Line Securities said car sales in the first 11 months of this fiscal year were driven by rising auto financing and various cab schemes and improved macro-economic indicators.

Fiat and Massey Ferguson sold 26,334 and 40,349 tractors in the July-May period compared to 18,317 and 31,606 units while sales of Orient IMT Tractor fell to 309 from 623 units.

Atlas Honda Limited (AHL) achieved a milestone of selling 1.058 million bikes in July-May 2017-18 as compared to 888,640 units in same period last fiscal.

Sales of United Auto Motorcycle surged to 372,558 units from 298,329 units while sales of Suzuki and Yamaha bikes increased to 19,657 and 19,832 units from 16,725 and 12,262 units. DYL Motorcycle sales dropped to 5,460 units from 6,972 units. Ravi bike sales stood at 26,606 units as compared to 20,134 units.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2018