Auto sector chokes as sales plunge

Updated October 12, 2019

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Declining auto sales have forced new entrants to revisit their investment plans.
Declining auto sales have forced new entrants to revisit their investment plans.

KARACHI: All segments of auto sector faced demand contraction during the first quarter of this fiscal year with car sales plunging by 39.4 per cent to 31,107 units compared to 51,221 units in the same period last year.

Similarly, there was a drop of 49.7pc in trucks, 26pc in buses, 31.6pc in tractors, 58pc in jeeps, 48pc in pickups and 19.5pc in two/three wheelers.

Frequent price increases by assemblers on falling rupee, imposition of federal excise duty (FED) by 2.5-7.5pc in various engine powers and additional customs duty on imports of raw material had hit car sales hard.

Auto financing also shrank owing to very high interest rates. Motorcycle and other vehicle rates had also been raised multiple times owing to currency devaluation.

However, in September, car sales slightly improved to 10,923 units, from 9,126 units in August but it could not avert a big slowdown in the overall quarterly figures.

WagonR suffered a massive fall of 73pc to 2,168 units, followed by 68pc in Honda Civic/City to 3,926, 58pc decline in Toyota Corolla to 5,503, 59pc dip in Suzuki Swift to 524.

Similarly, Suzuki Cultus, Mehran, Bolan sales plummeted by 25pc, 85pc, 71pc to 3,598, 1,249 and 1,106 units, respectively. Meanwhile, Alto660cc sales stood at 12,943 units.

Truck sales, dubbed as barometer of trade and business, plunged to 874 units, from 1,738. Hinopak, Master and Isuzu sold 365, 121 and 388 units as against 652, 285 and 801 in the previous quarter.

In August, a Ghandhara Industries Ltd (GIL) official said its Isuzu brand had remained the top truck seller in FY19 and sales were less affected than competitors due to strong quality and best after sales services. But 1QFY20 data contradicted the claim as its sales decreased to 368 units, from 801 with 68 units sold in August and September each.

Despite some headway in new infrastructure and motorways, bus sales went down to 196 units from 267 units in which Hino, Master and Isuzu sold 91, 39 and 66 units as against 103, 74 and 90 units.

Toyota Fortuner, Suzuki Ravi, Toyota Hilux and JAC sales fell to 266, 1,559, 938 and 138 units from 606, 3,614, 1,617 and 205. A 59pc drop in sales of Honda BR-V was recorded to reach 528 units.

In tractors, Fiat saw its sales rise by 24pc to 4,470 as against a 52pc decline in Massey Ferguson to 4,829 units.

In two and three wheelers, Honda and Suzuki sales depicted declines of 12pc and 11pc to 235,116 and 5,018, while Yamaha posted only 1pc decrease to 6,212 units.

United Auto Motorcycle and Road Prince Motorcycle sold units came down by 26pc and 35pc to 81,012 and 29,399, while Ravi’s were lower by 54pc to 3,497.

Saazgar and United three wheelers sales went down to 2,403 and 1,401 units, from 4,440 and 3,176 whereas Road Prince’s inched up to 1,628, from 1,588 units.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2019