KARACHI: The last fiscal year (FY21) turned out to be a massive recovery period for the auto sector amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic as car sales soared by 56.7 per cent, followed by 19.7pc increase in trucks, 16.6pc in buses, 227pc in jeeps, 57pc in pickups, 55pc in tractors and 39pc in two- and three-wheelers.

The entire auto sector remained bearish from March to May 2020 due to the Covid-19 restrictions including a countrywide locked down in April.

Buying interest among consumers revived after the reopening of markets in June 2020 and since then, there has been no looking back for the sector.

Car assemblers rolled out 18,154 units in June but sales stood at only 11,569 units in the month as buyers preferred to take the delivery of vehicles in July (first month of FY22) owing to expectation of a price cut on account of reduction in federal excise duty and general sales tax.

Despite the 17pc drop in Toyota Corolla sales to 18,355 units from 22,140 units, country’s total car sales remained brisk at 151,182 units in FY21 as compared to 96,455 units in FY20. Low interest rates of 7pc had changed the market dynamics thus luring buyers towards new locally-assembled vehicles and putting aside concerns relating to rising car prices, late delivery and high premiums on spot delivery.

Sales went up on the back of low interest rates, reduced taxes and new models

Corolla mainly suffered because of shift of buyers towards Toyota Yaris whose sales reached 28,295 units in FY21 from 1,327 units from a year ago. Yaris came in the production line of Indus Motor Company (IMC) from May 2020.

Honda Civic/City sales had swelled by 79pc to 25,276 units from 14,091 units while Suzuki Swift sales rose by 27pc to 2,316 from 1,828 units.

The figures released by Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Associ­ation (PAMA) added Hyundai Elantra from March 2021, with total sales standing at 855 units till the close of FY21 in June.

In 1,000cc, Suzuki WagonR and Cultus sales surged by 81pc and 42pc to 12,659 and 17,510 units in FY21 from 6,984 and 12,307 units in FY20.

An increase of 22pc and 59pc was recorded in Suzuki Alto 660cc and Bolan to 37,720 and 8,196 units in FY21 from 30,916 and 5,159 units in FY20.

Total truck sales climbed to 3,695 units from 3,088 units amid 36pc drop in Hino sales to 668 from 1,038 units. Master, Isuzu and JAC sales increased to 897, 1,907 and 223 units from 424, 1,582 and 44 units, up by 112pc, 21pc and 407pc respectively.

Hino’s bus sales remained in the red with 30pc fall to 184 units from 262 units but sales of other competitors had taken the overall bus sales to 652 units in FY21 from 559 units in FY20. Master bus sales went up by 101pc to 355 from 177 units while Isuzu sales suffered a minor fall of 6pc to 113 from 120 units.

Sale of Hyundai Tucson, whose production got underway from August 2020, stood at 3,784 units in FY21, beating Toyota Fortuner sales of 3,543 units in FY21. However, Fortuner sales were up by 205pc in FY21 as compared to 1,163 units in FY20.

In jeeps, Honda BR-V sales registered a whooping rise of 75pc to 4,015 units from 2,296 units in FY20.

In total pick up sales of 18,909 units in FY21 versus 12,048 in FY20, the share of Suzuki Ravi sales stood at 9,631 units as compared to 6,918 units, depicting a rise of 39pc in FY21.

With 88pc rise, Toyota Hilux sales stood at 7,043 units as against 3,748 units while JAC sales also posted an 87pc growth in sales to reach at 732 units from 392 units.

D-MAX sales remained flat with 52pc decline to 316 units from 656 units in FY20, while the new comer Hyundai Porter, whose assembly started from December 2019, registered a sales growth of 255pc to 1,187 from 334 units.

FY21 closed on a positive note for tractor makers, with Massey Ferguson and Fiat seeing a 72pc and 28pc rise in sales to 35,527 and 15,129 units from 20,706 and 11,825 in FY20. The increase in tractor sales makes for a positive agriculture indicator amid huge drop in cotton output.

In the two-wheelers category, Honda sold 48pc more bikes to 1.292 million units in FY21 from 873,902 units in FY20 while Suzuki completed the fiscal year FY21 with 44pc rise to 24,851 units from 17,301 units in FY20. Yamaha sales had recovered by 3pc to 19,924 units from 19,371 units in FY20.

United Auto Motorcycle sales went up by 25pc to 368,643 units from 295,495 units while its three-wheelers sales also grew by 9pc to 6,653 units from 6,098 units.

Road Prince bike sales surged by 30pc to 141,230 units from 108,990 units while its three wheelers sales plunged by two per cent to 10,116 units from 10,320.

Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2021

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