KARACHI: Barring slight reduction in sales of heavy vehicles, the entire auto sector enjoyed robust growth in the nine months of the current fiscal year (9MFY21), with car sales going up 31.5 per cent.
Sales of jeeps were up 157.6pc in 9MFY21, followed by light commercial vehicles/pickups which grew by 41.4pc, tractors 57.2pc and two/three-wheelers 22pc.
Atlas Honda Limited (AHL) broke its highest-ever production and sales records of two-wheelers with 125,442 and 125,030 units during March 2021 from its previous milestone of 116,024 and 116,000 units achieved during October 2020.
Total bike sales of Honda stood at 961,076 units in 9MFY21 as compared to 768,974 units in 9MFY20.
A total of 112,244 units of locally-assembled cars were sold during 9MFY21 versus 85,330 units in the same period last fiscal year. March 2021 also ended on a positive note with car sales soaring to 17,105 units from 13,570 units in February 2021. Sales in March 2020 were at 5,796 units owing to countrywide lockdown imposed in the third week which was extended to April 2020.
High car prices have not hit buyers’ sentiments as they seem more attracted towards low interest rates on auto-financing. Assemblers have not shared the low cost of import of parts and accessories with the consumers despite rupee appreciation against the dollar from August 2020 when one dollar was quoted at Rs168.40 as compared to current rate of Rs153-154. However, industry executives kept showing their concerns over high raw material prices in the world market, high freight rates and problems relating to port congestion in various countries.
According to the data of Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA), Suzuki Alto 660cc, after a bumpy ride for the last few months, had seen paltry sales recovery to 29,038 units in 9MFY21 from 27,956 units in the same period in FY20. Alto’s March 2021 sales also rose to 4,745 units from 4,245 units in February 2021.
Honda Civic/City sales swelled to 18,816 units from 11,989 units followed by Suzuki Swift sales jump to 1,896 units from 1,548 units.
Toyota Corolla sales dropped to 13,255 units in 9MFY21 from 20,991 units in the same period last fiscal as Toyota Yaris with its sales of 21,720 units has been putting the former’s sales under pressure.
Suzuki Cultus and Bolan sales surged to 12,108 and 6,498 units in 9MFY21 from 10,555 and 4,467 units in the same period last fiscal year. A total of 8,867 units of WagonR were sold in 9MFY21 as against 6,122 units in the same period in FY20.
PAMA figures registered a new entrant Hyundai Elantra in 1,300cc and above segment with production and sales of 248 and 36 units in March 2021.
In jeeps and pickups segment, Honda BR-V, Suzuki Ravi and Toyota Hilux sales went up to 2,882, 7,606 units and 5,246 units as compared to 2,089, 5,953 and 3,238 units in the last nine months of FY21.
JAC sales climbed up to 488 units from 333 units while Isuzu D-Max sales plunged to 196 from 435 units.
Another new entrant Hyundai Tucson sales from August 2020 to March 2021 were 2,759 units which were far better than Toyota Fortuner whose 9MFY21 sales were 2,449 versus 1,071 units in the same period last fiscal.
Sale of Hyundai Porter, which came into the assembly line from December 2019, stood at 848 units during July-February 2020-21.
In farm machinery, Massey Ferguson and Fiat sold 25,927 and 10,999 tractors during 9MFY21 from 14,611 and 8,733 units in the same period in FY20.
In two-wheelers, United Auto Motorcycle and Road Prince bikes sales reached to 286,899 and 111,570 in the last nine months of the current fiscal year from 242,387 and 91,595 units.
Suzuki sales improved to 17,363 units from 15,637 units while Yamaha sales came down to 16,597 from 18,142 units.
In three-wheelers, Qingqi, Sazgar, Road Prince and United sold 14,646, 11,790, 7,498 and 5,556 as compared to 10,577, 9,500, 7,837 and 4,751 units.
Analyst Arsalan Hanif at Arif Habib Limited attributed high sales in the auto sector including tractors to rebound in economic activities post locked down, low policy rate helping car sales to increase drastically as auto-financing increased by Rs61 billion during the last eight months of FY21, healthy farmers’ yields because of higher prices in agriculture products and revitalising of buyers’ purchasing power parity.
Among the losers were Hinopak whose truck and bus sales fell deeply to 533 and 157 units from 988 and 250 units in 9MFY20.
In contrast, Master truck and bus sales saw massive jump to 651 and 265 units from 367 and 165 units.
Isuzu truck and bus sales dropped to 1,334 and 92 units from 1,345 and 117 units.
Overall truck sales stood lower at 2,700 units in 9MFY21 as against 2,723 units while total bus sales recorded at 514 units as compared to 532 units in 9MFY20.
Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2021