KARACHI: The entire auto sector, barring the bus segment, turned in a depressed performance as the sales of cars plunged by 43 per cent followed by 42pc dip in trucks, 19pc in jeeps and pickups, 52.6pc in tractors and 32.5pc in two- and three-wheelers during the first seven months of the current fiscal year.
Contrary to past years, car sales and production in January plunged to 5,723 and 6,021 units from 13,758 and 13,780 in December 2022. Usually, the demand grows sharply in the first month of the new calendar as customers prefer to buy the latest models.
During the first seven months of FY23, car production and sales registered a steep decline of 38.6pc and 43pc to 77,101 and 74,933 units from 125,507 and 131,759 units in the same period last year.
Rising prices of vehicles, high markup rates, curbs on financing, plant shutdown amid a shortage of parts and delays in delivery of vehicles contributed to the huge fall in car sales.
As per Arif Habib Ltd (AHL), the total auto sales (cars, light commercial vehicles, vans and jeeps) remained 31-month low to settle at 10,900 units in January showing a drop of 47pc compared to January 2022 and 36pc to December 2022. This is also the lowest sales number after June 2020 (8,800 units).
Total truck sales were 2,025 in July-Jan FY23 as compared to 3,492 units while bus sales rose to 392 from 348 units.
While facing a setback in car sales, the same assemblers enjoyed good fortune in the heavy engine segment.
For example, Hyundai Tucson sales soared by 97pc to 2,864 units from 1,456 units in July-Jan FY22.
Amid plant closure from Jan 6-16, total production and sales of Millat Tractors rose to 1,572 and 2,203 units in January from 1,013 and 501 units in December 2022. However, 7MFY23 sales came down by 58pc to 8,508 from 20,270. Fiat sales stood at 6,415 from 11,175 units.
Honda bike sales saw a recovery of 23pc to 612,817 units in 7MFY23 from 798,657 despite persistently increasing the prices. Suzuki went up by 8pc to 22,985 from 21,240 units as against a 46pc decline in Yamaha sales to 7,577 from 14,038. United Auto Motorcycle and Road Prince bike sales shrank by 64pc and 69pc to 61,260 and 19,706 from 168,546 and 63,286 in 7MFY22.
Qingqi and Sazgar three-wheeler sales stood at 4,410 and 5,871 as against 8,386 and 8,388, down by 47pc and 30pc.
Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2023