KARACHI: Barring buses and locally assembled Chinese two- and three-wheelers, the sales of the entire auto sector posted a robust growth in the first half of the current fiscal year (1HFY22) despite surging prices, rising interest rates and curbs on auto financing by the State Bank in the September-December quarter.

Arsalan Hanif, analyst at Arif Habib Ltd, said the whole calendar year 2021 ended on a positive note despite a shortage of semi-conductor chips, disruption in the international supply chain and booking suspensions of various automobiles, the massive growth in sales volumes remained intact mainly due to improved purch­asing power amid rapid economic recovery and consumers interest in buying cars before slapping of higher regulatory and federal excise duties.

According to Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA), the total car sales swelled by 71.2 per cent to 114,765 units in 1HFY22 from 67,026 units in 1HFY21. December sales rose to 24,462 units from 15,351 units in November 2021.

The sales of trucks surged by 70pc followed by 66pc growth in jeeps, 63pc in light commercial vehicles and 21pc in tractors.

High prices, financing curbs fail to dent demand

Mr Hanif Pak Suzuki Motor Company Ltd (PSMCL) recorded a year-on-year growth of 108pc to 122,779 units followed by a 71pc jump in sales of Indus Motor Company (IMC) to 69,169 units and Honda Atlas Cars Ltd (HACL) by 61pc to 35,173 units.

He said PSMCL witnessed an all-time month-on-month sales growth of 82pc to 15,500 units in December 2021. On year-on-year, the sales recorded 104pc rise.

Suzuki Alto 660cc posted the highest-ever sales of 9,195 units in December 2021, up by 280pc month-on-month and 211pc year-on-year amid favourable government policies, he said, adding that HACL also registered record monthly sales of 4,708 units in December 2021, up by 56pc month-on-month and 167pc year-on-year.

Umair Naseer of Topline Securities said December 2021 sales were much higher compared to historical averages as people generally preferred to buy vehicles with new year registration.

Following a reduction in duties and taxes in the budget 2021-22, the local assemblers had lowered prices by Rs62,000-400,000 but they since November they started lifting up prices aggressively citing soaring freight charges and the rising cost of production owing to rupee devaluation.

According to PAMA data, Honda City/Civic combined sales grew to 17,620 units from 11,958 units in 1HFY21 while Toyota Corolla sales reached 15,903 units from 8,427 units. Toyota Yaris sales remained slightly low at 13,223 as compared to 12,845 units in 1HFY21.

In 1,000cc, Suzuki Cultus and WagonR sales surged to 14,516 and 11,629 units in 1HFY22 from 7,517 and 5,478 units in the same period last year.

Suzuki Bolan and Alto660cc sales, which were 3,582 and 16,221 in IHFY21, increased to 6,241 and 32,388 units in 1HFY22.

Toyota Fortuner, Honda BR-V, Suzuki Ravi and Toyota Hilux sales went up to 3,619, 1,928, 7,432 and 5,327 units in 1HFY22 as compared to 1,247, 1,708, 4,140 and 3,620 units in the same period last year.

JAC, D-Max and Hyundai Porter sales climbed to 479, 253 and 808 units from 308, 141 and 557 units.

Hyundai Tucson and Hyundai Porter sales improved to 1,321 and 808 units in IHFY22 from 1,207 and 557 units in the same period last year.

Total truck sales rose to 2,802 units from 1,650 units in 1HFY22, depicting improvement in goods’ movement of both export and imports shipments, while bus sales slowed down to 260 as against 297 units.

Sales of 9,225 by Fiat and 17,254 units by Massey Ferguson in IHFY22 from 6,198 and 15,538 in the same period last fiscal year gave a good picture of the agriculture sector.

Demand for Chinese bikes falls

Atlas Honda Ltd sold 678,655 bikes in the first six months of the current fiscal year from 618,040 units in the same period last year, while in the entire 2021, the leading bike assembler posted the highest-ever bike sales of 1.353m units as against 977,000 units in 2020.

Suzuki and Yamaha bikes sales in IHFY21 stood at 18,030 and 12,193 as compared to 10,574 and 10,524 units in the same period last fiscal.

Chinese bike assemblers like Road Prince and United Auto Motorcycle Ltd suffered massive sales fall to 58,119 and 150,267 units from 78,955 and 202,284 units in IHFY21.

Road Prince and United Auto Three Wheelers sales also plunged to 4,616 and 1,624 units from 5,417 and 3,810 units.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2022

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