KARACHI: Amid an uncertain vehicle delivery situation, Honda Atlas Cars Ltd (HACL) on Monday again raised prices of various models by Rs260,000-550,000 in less than two weeks.
Some 12 days back, HACL had increased the rate by Rs300,000-550,000 due to the rupee devaluation, uncertain economic conditions and high inflation.
Dealers of various assemblers offer a different schedule for the delivery of vehicles due to suspension in booking, plant shutdown and parts availability issues, while others entice customers through price-lock offers and instant delivery options with price increase warnings.
Booking has been kept open in various models but without any delivery dates. For example, Honda BR-V is ready for immediate delivery while some City variants are available in February and some in April. However, no delivery dates are available for Honda Civic and HR-V models.
Some back orders that were scheduled to be delivered in November 2022 were revised for delivery in June/July this year, forcing many customers to take a refund of amounts paid at the time of bookings.
A dealer, who asked not to be named, said it is unlawful for the local assemblers to take bookings despite their inability to deliver the vehicles in time. Due to rising prices, all customers are liable to pay an additional amount if a price hike is made.
He said there should be a clear policy on price-lock and delivery commitment if a booking is going to continue.
A Toyota dealer said that booking is temporarily on hold due to a complete plant shutdown from Feb 1-14. However, the company was previously giving delivery time for July onwards for various vehicles, while Revo and Rocco vehicles were available in a month.
He said the footfall of customers interested in booking vehicles at our showroom has dropped by 60-70 per cent as compared to January following the persistent rise in interest rates, high prices and State Bank of Pakistan’s curbs on auto financing.
Some Hyundai Nishat dealers said the company is offering one month time on various models on full payment from the customers. The discount on registration of vehicles had been suspended from Jan 1.
A Suzuki dealer said the booking has been closed since last month.
Kia vehicle dealers are offering price-lock offers for a limited time by offering a note of caution regarding price hikes any time. The company is taking the booking and delivery is being made in the current month on full payment.
Amid highly depressed sales during IHFY23, Farhan Mahmood of Sherman Securities anticipates 44pc month-on-month drop in auto sales to 9,100 units in January as result of a 74pc MoM drop in sales of Pak Suzuki due to plant shutdown.
Sales of Indus Motor Company and HACL may remain higher by 24pc and 30pc to 3,500 and 2,700 units, he opined.
Published in Dawn, February 7th, 2023
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