Auto sector robust despite August dip in car sales

Published September 11, 2021
Car sales posting growth of 93 per cent, followed by an increase of 199pc in jeeps in the  first two months of the fiscal year 2021-22. — Reuters/File
Car sales posting growth of 93 per cent, followed by an increase of 199pc in jeeps in the first two months of the fiscal year 2021-22. — Reuters/File

KARACHI: The first two months of the fiscal year 2021-22 (2MFY22) proved highly satisfying for the entire auto sector, with car sales posting growth of 93 per cent, followed by an increase of 199pc in jeeps.

A sharp increase of 150pc was witnessed in truck sales, followed by 119pc in light commercial vehicles (LCVs), 18.4pc in tractors, 2pc in buses and 1.3pc in two- and three-wheelers. Despite a month-on-month (MoM) drop in car sales in August to 17,899 units from 20,669 units in July, overall sales in 2MFY22 soared to 38,568 units from 20,008 units. However, car production swelled by 112pc to 32,718 units from 15,457 units in 2MFY21. Some car variants performed beyond expectations. For example, Suzuki Alto 660cc production and sales excelled with a big boost of 862pc and 145pc to 8,445 and 11,141 units from 878 and 4,547 units.

In the 1,300cc and above category, Suzuki Swift, which is being discontinued by Pak Suzuki Motor Company Limited, saw a 132pc jump in production to 382 units from 165 units. However, Swift sales almost remained unchanged at 379 units versus 378 units in 2MFY22.

In the higher engine power segment, increase in production and sales of Toyota Corolla was recorded which went up 72pc and 78pc to 4,118 and 4,262 units in 2MFY22 from 2,397 and 2,395 units in the same period in FY21. Production and sales of Toyota Yaris rose by 10pc and 32pc to 3,864 and 4,725 units from 3,519 and 3,588 units in 2M FY22.

Honda Civic and City performed unimpressively than their competitors, registering a jump of 10pc and 6pc in production and sales to 4,449 and 4,426 in 2MFY22 from 4,058 and 4,190 units in 2MFY21.

Demand for SUVs, pickups, other vehicles remains upbeat amid rising prices

Figures of Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) showed two new variants from Hyundai Nishat Motors — Elantra and Sonata — whose sales stood at 415 and 305 units, respectively, in 2MFY22.

In the 1,000cc segment, production and sales of Suzuki WagonR were 3,147 and 3,810 units as compared to 783 and 1,299 units, up by 302pc and 193pc compared with 2MFY21. Suzuki Cultus production and sales also grew by 149pc and 185pc to 5,958 and 7,058 units from 2,388 and 2,477 units in 2MFY21. Production and sales of Suzuki Bolan surged by 25pc and 81pc to 1,592 and 2,047 units in 2MFY22 from 1,269 and 1,134 units in same months FY21.

Low interest rate and record car financing of Rs314 billion by banks till July 2021 played a big role reviving the auto production and sales in FY21, with the momentum continuing in 2MFY22. In 2020, the auto segment witnessed a tough time from March to June as the Covid-19 pandemic spread, with the country going into a strict lockdown in April 2020. Assemblers are now cashing in on the strong demand back log.

Jeeps, pickup sales up

Another segment — LCVs, Jeeps and pickups — also remained on a high note with some already hot selling vehicles became more demanding. Toyota Fortuner production and sales rose to 981 and 990 units from 274 and 267 units, up by 258 and 271pc over 2MFY21.

Hyundai Tucson production and sales grew by 258pc and 1,568pc to 323 and 367 units from 84 and 22 units. Honda BR-V sales stood at 1,047 and 1,111 units as compared to 539 and 535 units, up by 99pc and 108pc over 2MFY21.

In pickups, Suzuki Ravi production and sales reached 2,616 and 2,808 units from 1,066 and 1,159 units, up by 145pc and 142pc followed by 32pc and 116pc rise in Toyota Hilux production and sales to 1,457 and 2,377 units from 1,103 and 1,100 units. JAC production and sales went up to 108 and 115 units from 72 and 94 units. Nissan D-MAX production fell to 60 units from 165 units but sales rose to 81 from 62 units.

Hyundai Porter production and sales stood at 252 units each in 2MFY22 – up by 473pc and 64pc, respectively – as compared to 44 and 154 units in the same period in FY21.

Demand for cars, SUVs, pickups and vans remained upbeat despite rising prices on account of vulnerable exchange rate from August 2020 to date, high freight charges, chip shortage and late arrivals of parts and accessories owing to port congestion, late delivery period extending up to first quarter of 2022 and high own money on spot buying at the showrooms. However, the federal budget FY22 provided a little price relief owing to relaxation in duties and taxes in vehicles.

In farm machinery, Fiat and Massey Ferguson sales surged by 33pc and 12pc to 2,708 and 4,940 units from 2,034 and 4,410 units. Total truck sales stood at 1,104 units in 2MFY22 as compared to 441 units a year ago. Bus sales inched up by two per cent to 100 units from 98 units a year ago.

In two-wheelers, Honda bike sales went up by 12pc to 200,039 units from 179,003 units while Suzuki and Yamaha sales improved to 5,703 and 3,985 units from 2,730 and 2,596 units. Among the losers, United Auto Motorcycle and Road Prince sales plunged to 58,285 and 20,591 units in 2MFY22 from 70,419 and 25,342 units in 2MFY21.

Sales of Qingqi, Sazgar, Road Prince and United three-wheelers remained depressed with 2,194, 2,071, 1,305 and 337 units as compared to 3,226, 2,337, 1,801 and 1,394 units, down by 32pc, 11pc, 28pc and 76pc, respectively. Total sales of two and three-wheelers stood at 294,802 units as compared to 290,948 units in 2MFY21.

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2021



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