KARACHI: Assemblers have started pushing up the motorbike prices anticipating a surge in demand for two-wheelers following a massive hike in petrol prices.
Surprisingly, the Chinese bike assemblers, facing a dwindling sales trend for the last few months, have also jacked up the prices citing the rising cost of production on account of rupee devaluation turning auto parts costlier coupled with surging transportation costs following a whopping Rs30 per litre rise in diesel and petrol prices.
Market leader Atlas Honda Ltd (AHL) has raised the price of various models by up to Rs9,000 from June 1. The company had increased prices multiple times in 2021 attributing it to the falling strength of the rupee. In the first week of May, the company had pushed up the price by Rs3,000-8,000.
The Honda CD-70 is now tagged at Rs106,900, up by Rs3,600 followed by a Rs4,000 jump in CD-70 Dream to Rs113,500.
After a jump of Rs5,000, Honda Pridor and CG125 will cost Rs144,900 and Rs168,500. CG125SE price has been raised to Rs198,500 from Rs193,500. The new price of CB125F is Rs253,900, showing a jump of Rs9,000 while CB150F silver colour would be available at Rs308,900, up by Rs9,000. The same model in red and black colour would be sold at Rs312,000 from Rs303,900.
Pak Star Automobile Ltd has increased the price of 100-150cc bikes by Rs7,000 followed by Rs10,000 in 200cc auto rickshaw loaders and Rs7,000 in auto-rickshaws from June 5.
D.S. Motors Private Ltd has come out with a price hike of Rs10,000 in the 125cc model from June 5, 2022.
Pakistan’s second-largest bike assembler — United Auto Motorcycle — has jacked up the price of 70cc-125cc bikes by Rs3,000 from June 7.
Road Prince Motorcycle and auto-rickshaw have made a jump of Rs3,000 in 70cc-125cc models from June 7.
A bike dealer said the Chinese assemblers have made a clever move by raising prices in anticipation of improvement in sales as buyers may turn up towards low-priced bikes after a whooping rise in petrol prices.
He said that bikes are still considered a cheap mode of transport as public vehicle operators and Qingqi rickshaw owners have also started demanding higher fares after the petrol price rise.
Chairman Association of Pakistan Motorcycle Assemblers (APMA), Mohammad Sabir Sheikh said Japanese bikes have been in high demand for the last over one year as many car owners keep a branded bike to offset the high cost of moving on cars amid rising petrol and diesel prices. This has created extra demand for Japanese bikes, while Chinese bikes have been struggling to revive their sales.
He said the government should remove taxes and duties to bring down prices of electric bikes which would also help curtail the high cost of petrol imports.
Amid rising sales of Japanese bikes, the overall sales of two/three-wheelers, as per figures of the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA), fell year on year by 4.4pc in 10MFY22.
Market people expressed surprise over the rising prices of 70cc bikes mainly despite assemblers’ tall claims of achieving over 94 per cent localisation. The import bill of complete and semi-knocked kits jumped by 10pc to $66.6m in 10MFY22 as compared to $60m in the same period last year.
Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2022