KARACHI: While discontinuing advance booking of vehicles due to restrictions imposed by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on parts and accessories imports, auto assemblers continued to give price shocks to customers.

Pak Suzuki Motor Company Ltd (PSMCL) has temporarily discontinued booking of all two- and four-wheelers from July 1. The company has also come up with a price hike on two-wheelers.

Market sources said the company still has an advance booking of 15,000-20,000 units for delivery in the next few months.

Talking to Dawn, PSMCL Head of Public Relations and Spokesman Shafiq Ahmed Shaikh said the company managed production till June 30 but due to the ban on completely-knocked down (CKD) kits and uncertainty of import restrictions on production of parts onwards, it has to suspend bookings temporarily.

Assemblers hike prices, suspend advance booking

He said whatever orders the company had received by June 30, those would be invoiced.

From July 2, PSMCL has increased the prices of its two-wheelers including GD110S, GS150, GS150SE, and GR150 by Rs7,000-10,000 to Rs219,000, Rs239,000, Rs256,000, and Rs349,000.

Meanwhile, the Indus Motor Company (IMC) had already ended bookings as of May 18.

Market sources said the IMC may be sitting on 25,000 advance booking units of different vehicles in hand to be delivered up to six months.

However, the IMC had apologised to its customers for late delivery of vehicles already booked by the customers due to extreme difficulties in operations in view of current instability followed by State Bank of Pakistan’s LC approval constraint for CKD imports and a drastic fall in rupee value against the dollar, thus disrupting its vehicle production.

Lucky Motor Corporation Limited (LMCL) has also announced that advance bookings for Picanto automatic transmission and Spectra will be closed on May 20, 2022, while bookings for Picanto manual, Stonic, and Peugeot will remain open. The company had advanced booking orders of over 4,000 units, sources said.

A dealer at Honda Atlas Cars Limited said that so far the company had not issued any instructions regarding the closure of bookings.

The Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (Pama) has informed the government that auto parts makers and vendors are facing production issues due to restrictions imposed by the SBP on May 20.

According to Pama, these restrictions are having a devastating effect on auto-assemblers and auto parts manufacturers. This situation is transforming into a serious crisis for the industry. The assemblers and part makers who were running their units on overtime due to huge demand are now finding it difficult to manage routine production.

The whole supply chain, including local vendors, dealers, and support entities, has been affected by this policy shift.

“This may lead to a wave of unemployment as the closure of vendor plants will specifically impact the daily wage and contractual staff,” Pama said.

On Friday, Yamaha Motor Pakistan Limited (YMPL) has again increased the prices by Rs23,500-26,500 from July 1.

Yamaha’s 125Z, YB125Z DX, YBR125, YBR125G, and YBR125G were priced at Rs255,000, Rs273,500, Rs280,500, Rs292,000, and Rs295,000, respectively, after an increase of Rs21,000-23,000 on June 3.

Atlas Honda Limited (AHL) has announced a price jump of up to Rs15,000 from July 1.

As per figures of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the country’s import bill of CKD and semi-knocked down (SKD) kits for cars in May 2022 surged to $158 million from $130m in April 2022 and $105m in May 2020.

Total CKD and SKD imports of cars in July-May FY22 swelled to an all-time record high of $1.560bn, up from $997mn in the same period last fiscal, up by 56pc.

The import of CKD and SKD kits for motorcycle assembly in May plunged to $4.9m from $6.3m in April 2022 and $6.4m in May 2021.

Two-wheeler CKD and SKD imports increased by 7pc to $71m in 11MFY22, up from $66m the previous fiscal year.

Pama members’ car sales increased by 51pc to 210,633 units in 11MFY22, up from 139,613 units the previous year.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2022

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