KARACHI: The first month of 2019-20 started off on a depressing note for the auto sector with 23 per cent and 42pc declines in car production and sales respectively to 16,472 and 10,968 units.
The key contributor to this lower production was the closure of production by Honda Atlas Cars from July 12-21besides observing Saturday as a holiday for the last few months. The maker of Toyota cars — Indus Motor Company (IMC) — also did not roll out vehicles for eight days besides observing two Saturdays off, taking cumulative the shutdown of IMC plant for 10 days in July.
Production and sales in August may also have dipped dye to four-day official Eid holidays leading to almost a week of plant shutdown from August 12-17, including a Saturday off.
Rising vehicle prices on account of rupee devaluation against the dollar, imposition of federal excise duty (FED), increase in tax rates on non-filers and high interest rate had made buyers reluctant to purchasing new vehicles, thus forcing assemblers to cease production last month.
According to figures of the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA), Honda Civic and City production and sales plunged by 49pc and 68pc to 2,371 and 1,452 units, respectively in July.
Similarly, Toyota Corolla’s output and volume came down by 39pc and 57pc to 2,827 and 1,981 units, respectively.
Meanwhile, Pak Suzuki Motor Company (PSMC) had not announced any production cut, yet its production and sales of Swift came in at 384 and 174 units, down by 28pc and 64pc. However, Cultus’s output increased by 28pc to 2,293 units while its volume suffered a 27pc drop to 1,208 units. WagonR production and sales plummeted by 15pc and 70pc to 2,767 and 843 units.
With the closure of Suzuki Mehran production, sales from earlier orders plunged 89pc to 394 units in July while Bolan’s output and volume dropped by 26pc and 75pc to 1,367 and 332 units, respectively. Moreover, Alto660cc production and sales during the last month were recorded at 4,463 and 4,584 units.
Jeeps, vans and light commercial vehicles segment was also in the red with 66pc fall in the sales of Toyota Fortuner to 74 units while those of Honda BR-V dipped 35pc to 242 units. This was followed by 30pc and 48pc drop in Suzuki Ravi and Toyota Hilux sales to 840 and 358 units, respectively. In line with trend, JAC’s volume also lowered by 9pc to 51 units in July.
Total bus sales improved by 7.3pc to 118 units in July despite Hino’s sales falling by 17pc to 39 units while Isuzu’s jumped 44pc to 56 units while its production was zero during the month. Master bus saw its sales decline 4pc to 23 units.
Trucks, which had maintained a flat trend in FY19, started the first month of this fiscal year with 30pc decline in first month of FY20 to 252 units due to 53pc, 51pc and 3pc fall in Hino, Master and Isuzu volumes to 101, 54 and 252 units, respectively.
Tractor sales- an indicator of the country’s agriculture indicator — showed a mixed trend in July with Fiat sales going up by 38pc to 1,122 units while those of Massey Ferguson fell 36pc to 1,938.
Among two-wheelers, Suzuki and Yamaha volume — which showed positive growth in FY19 — kicked off 2019-20 with 15pc and 16pc fall to 1,614 units and 1,817 units in July, respectively.
Whereas, sales of Honda — the market leader — decreased by 11pc to 80,005 units in July, from 90,009 in same period last year. United Auto Motorcycle’s sales stood at 22,288 units last month versus 35,508 units in July last year.
Sazgar and United three-wheeler sales declined to 585 and 815 units, as compared to 1,468 and 1,073.
Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2019