KARACHI: The auto sector gave a robust performance in the first nine months of the current fiscal year (9MFY22) marked by 53.8 per cent jump in car sales, 66.4pc in trucks, 45.8pc in jeeps/pickups and 12.1pc in tractors. However, a decline in sales of buses and two and three-wheelers was noted in the period under review.

Massive increase in prices, high interest rates and curbs by the State Bank of Pakistan on auto financing from the last quarter of 2021 appeared to have not made any serious dent in buyers’ sentiments. As a result, total car sales increased to 172,612 units in 9MFY22 versus 112,244 units in the same period on FY21. The combined sales of Toyota Corolla and Yaris reached to 43,695 units in 9MFY22 from 34,976 units from a year ago.

Honda Civic/City sales swelled by 43pc to 26,830 units in 9MFY22 from 18,816 units a year ago. Suzuki Cultus and WagonR sales rose by 46pc and 91pc 17,686 and 16,916 from 12,108 and 8,867 units.

Suzuki Bolan and Suzuki Alto sales had surged by 47pc and 83pc to 9,562 and 53,241 units from 6,498 and 29,038. New comers Hyundai Elantra and Sonata sales in 9MFY22 were 2,286 and 1,888.

The combined sales of Toyota jeeps and pickups stood at 12,872 in the period under review as compared to 7,695 units in 9MFY21. Hyundai Tucson and Honda BR-V sales posted a jump of two per cent and 10pc to 2,806 and 3,180 units as compared to 2,759 and 2,882 units.

Sales of Suzuki Rav, JAC, Isuzu D-Max and Hyundai Porter went up 51pc, 46pc, 58pc and 51pc to 11,517, 712, 310 and 1,284 units in July-March 2021-2022 from 7,606, 488, 196 and 848 in the same period last fiscal.

Total jeeps/pickups sales in 9MFY22 were 32,769 units as compared to 22,474 units a year, showing tremendous focus of buyers towards high engine powered vehicles.

For two and three-wheelers, total sales fell to 1.377 million units in 9MFY22 from 1.438m units in 9MFY21 despite a 6pc jump in Honda bike sales to 1.018mn units from 961,076, 59pc in Suzuki bikes to 27,693 from 17,363 units and 10pc in Yamaha bikes to 18,193 units from 16,597 units. Consumers did not restrict their buying towards Japanese-assembled bikes despite multiple price shocks by the assemblers.

However, massive drops in Chinese bikes and three-wheelers continued to persist in the last nine months. For example, in 9MFY22 Road Prince and United Auto Motorcycle sales plunged by 34pc and 28pc to 73,450 and 207,215 units from 111,570 and 286,899 units a year ago.

Qingqi, Road Prince and United three wheelers sales stood at 10,879 units, 6,227 and 2,322 units as compared to 14,646, 7,498 and 5,556 units, down by 26pc, 17pc and 58pc respectively.

Total truck sales soared to 4,493 units from 2,700 units due to massive recovery in sales of Hino, Master, Isuzu and JAC.

Total bus sales in 9MFY22 fell by 11pc to 458 units as compared to 514 units in which Hino and Isuzu sales faced 22pc and 29pc drop to 122 and 65 units, while Master sales marginally grew by two per cent to 271 units from 265 units.

In farm tractors, sales of Fiat and Massey Ferguson stood at 15,737 and 25,866 units as compared to 10,999 and 25,927 units. However, Millat Tractors kept its production closed from March 7 to 21, 2022 due to operational constraints. In March 2022, the company rolled out 2,199 units as compared to 2,431 units.

Sunny Kumar at Top Line Securities said significant jump in Toyota vehicles is due to resumption of plant operation which was shut down for one week in February 2022 and lesser number of working days compared to last month. Higher truck sales depicted rising transportation activities, he added.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2022

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