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KARACHI: The overall automobile sales (cars, LCVs and vans) dropped six per cent to 39,006 units during first two months of this fiscal year compared to 41,671 units in the corresponding period last year, showed data released by Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) on Tuesday.

Indus Motor Company emerged as top performer amongst its peers, however, the company recorded 9 per cent year-on-year decline in units sold in August. Moreover, the company sold 10,486 units during the July-Aug period, up 3pc led by sales in Hilux model, which continued its robust growth trajectory, up by 23pc. On the other hand, Corolla and Fortuner sales dipped by 12pc and 23pc, respectively.

According to data released by PAMA, Honda Atlas Cars Limited (HACL) sales witnessed 15pc drop to 3,961 units. Cumulatively, during the first two months of current fiscal year, company’s sales fell by 3pc. Variant wise, Civic and City sales fell by 12pc while BR-V sales continued its dismal performance from last month, falling 32pc.

Pak Suzuki Motor Company Limited experienced significant decline in sales with volumes down 27pc to 8,683 units. Declines were led by Ravi and Mehran, which were down 50pc and 42pc respectively, while sales of Wagon-R variant posted 11pc growth, albeit at a slower pace. Overall, during July and August, total sales by Pak Suzuki declined 12pc, the most amongst its peers.

Syed Danial Adil at Top Line Securities said this is the first time that auto sales have declined in first two months of a fiscal year since FY15. This was mainly attributable to lesser working days on account of Eid-ul-Adha, deteriorating macroeconomic environment, more than three to four price hikes in ongoing calendar year and impact of additional legal requirements for car purchasers.

He said that this slowdown is likely to continue in coming months as rising interest rates and rupee depreciation are expected take their toll on the sector. Rate changes and weakening rupee are likely to affect consumer financing costs and in turn increase in the prices of local models.

Additionally, total tractor sales in July and Aug fell to 7,913 units from 9,757 in same period last fiscal year whereas truck sales flattened to 1,199 from 1,478 units. On the other hand, bus sales improved to 217 units from 175 units due to big jump in sales of Isuzu buses up to 85 units rising from two units last year. Hino and Master bus sales fell to 78 and 54 units down from 105 and 68 units same period last year.

Total sales of two and three wheelers of PAMA members stood lower at 290,907 units versus 324,050 units in July and August. Atlas Honda Limited, the main player in two wheeler segment suffered a decline in sales to 170,021 units from 187,249 units during the period under review.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2018