Auto industry woes multiply as sales dip

Updated February 12, 2020

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Pakistan’s auto sector continued to show dismal performance during the first seven months of 2019-20 with cars sales plunging by 44 per cent year-on-year, reported the data released by Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association. — Reuters/File
Pakistan’s auto sector continued to show dismal performance during the first seven months of 2019-20 with cars sales plunging by 44 per cent year-on-year, reported the data released by Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association. — Reuters/File

KARACHI: Pakistan’s auto sector continued to show dismal performance during the first seven months of 2019-20 with cars sales plunging by 44 per cent year-on-year, reported the data released by Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association.

The rest of the segments followed as trucks sales dipped by 44.8pc, buses 30.6pc, jeeps 49.7pc, LCVs (pickups) 47.3pc, farm tractors 37.6pc and two- and three-wheelers 11pc.

However, the figures for January showed a reverse trend as car sales went up to 10,095 units, edging up 1.08pc over 9,987 units in December 2019 whereas over the seven-month period, they nosedived to 69,192, from 123,391 units in 7MFY20.

There was a massive improvement in Honda Civic/City car sales in January 2020 as they rose to 1,878 units from 884 in December 2019 but these two models faced an overall drop in 7MFY20 by 66pc to 8,797, as compared to 25,810 units in same period last fiscal year.

Toyota Corolla sales fell 54pc in 7MFY20 to 15,187 units while increased to 3,445 in January versus 2,085 units in December 2,019.

Suzuki Swift sales came down by 54pc to 1,280 units in 7MFY20 and 48pc to 144 in January from 277 units in December last year.

Similarly, sales of Suzuki Cultus and WagonR plummeted by 36pc and 73pc to 8,310 units and 5,113 units respectively in 7MFY20. However, the latter witnessed a major improvement in January as sales soared to 1,701 units in January, from 918 in December. Meanwhile, the monthly figures for WagonR were dismal with 567 units sold in January versus 1,207 in December last year. Sales of Alto 660cc clocked in at 25,452 during the seven-month period.

The economic slowdown was also evident in heavy vehicles segment as overall truck sales slipped to 2,077 units during July-January, from 3,762 in corresponding months last year. This was contributed by Hino, Master and Isuzu sales declining to 814, 278 and 985 units as compared to 1,306, 714 and 1,742 units, respectively.

Total bus sales plunged to 424 units from 611 in 7MFY19 in which Hino, Master and Isuzu sales were registered at 192, 123 and 109 versus 292, 146 and 173 units, respectively.

In LCVs, vans and jeeps, Toyota Fortuner and Honda BR-V sales witnessed 54pc and 48pc declines to 702 and 1,559 units in 7MFY20 while Suzuki Ravi and Toyota Hilux’s came down by 53pc and 43pc to 5,045 and 2,308 units. Meanwhile, JAC sales stood at 301 units versus 401 units.

Agriculture economy also remained slow as evident from Fiat and Massey Ferguson tractor sales dropping by 30pc and 42pc to 6,763 and 10,537 units, respectively despite month-wise increase during January.

In two- and three-wheelers, Honda sales recorded a paltry drop of 4pc to 610,189 units in 7MFY20 while Suzuki’s stood lower by 7pc to 12,741.

Yamaha bike sales improved by 2pc to 14,922 units while United Auto Motorcycle’s faced 16pc drop to 194,909 units in 7MFY20.

Qingqi, Sazgar, Road Prince and United three-wheelers sales came in at 7,812, 7,316, 5,494 and 3,710 units as compared to 13,646, 9,624, 6,316 and 7,234 units, respectively.

Hammad Akram at Topline Securities said jump in month-on-month sales in January in many cars was because of the New Year phenomenon.

He said Pak Suzuki Motor Company had announced price hike in mid-December of 2019, to be effective from January, resulting in pre-buying (up 49pc month-wise) in the last month of last year. The analyst attributed the fall in car sales in 7MFY20 to higher prices and soaring interest rates.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2020