Despite high car expenses, Pakistan’s auto sector increased by 98% in March, to around 7,201 units, compared to 3,642 units sold the previous month, presenting a light of optimism in the struggling auto sector, which has picked up some speed after several months.
Car sales, including non-PAMA (Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association) sales, fell 68% in March compared to the same month the previous year, owing to non-production days and a fall in purchasing power.
The monthly get can be attributed to higher volumetric sales of Pak Suzuki Motor Company (PSMC) and Indus Motors, which increased by 475% and 6%, respectively, month on month.
Furthermore, Arif Habib Limited claimed in its comments that due to mounting inflationary pressure, buyers switched to affordable vehicles with displacements less than 1000cc, which increased by 423%.
Fears of a slowdown in the coming months remain as the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) action to restrict imports remains in place; hence, auto assemblers require prior approval to import completely knocked-down (CKD) units and raw materials, resulting in production limits.
According to PAMA data issued a day earlier, sales of all other versions of automobiles, jeeps, tractors, pick-ups, and three-wheelers, as well as two-wheelers, decreased year on year in March 2023.
In the first nine months of the fiscal year 2022-23, a total of 85,776 units were sold, a 50% decrease from the previous year’s total of 172,612 units sold.
Sales of 1300cc and higher cars were 2,913 units during the review period, a 67% decrease from the same month the previous year’s sales of 9,280 units.
In March 2023, 1,000cc cars recorded sales of 964 units only, (475 units of Suzuki Cultus and 489 units of Suzuki WagonR) against 2,410 units in the same month last year.
Breakdown of the data:
- Below 1000cc vehicles sold 3,324 units, a 70% decrease from 11,109 units sold last year.
- In March 2023, Suzuki’s new Alto sold 2,542 units, compared to 9,814 units in March 2022.
- Buses and trucks fell to 308 units in March from 565 units the previous month.
- Jeep and pickup truck sales fell to 2,150 units from 4,403 units sold during the same period last year.
- Tractor sales fell from 5,651 units in March 2022 to 2,984 units in March 2022.
- Rickshaw and motorcycle sales fell to 84,307 units in March, down from 151,010 units in the same month the previous year.
PSMC increased monthly sales by 475% to 5,628 units, owing mostly to the availability of CKD parts and the resolution of LC difficulties, while Indus Motors increased monthly sales by 6% to 1,912 units.
However, Honda Car (HCAR) sales fell 49% month on month to 835 units in March due to the plant’s stoppage for 23 days due to CKD difficulties.
Performance of record of other automakers:
- Hyundai sales were down 34% month-on-month,
- Tuscon was down 46% month-on-month to 380 units,
- Sonata was down 40% month-on-month to 118 units in the mother under review.
Millat Tractors increased their tractor sales by 3% month on month to 2,669 units in March.
Al-Ghazi Tractors reported a 57% decrease in sales to 315 units in the month.
“This brings total tractor industry sales to 21,233 units in 9MFY23, down 49% year on year due to floods, plant shutdowns, lower consumer buying power, and higher prices,” said Sunny Kumar, an auto specialist at Topline Securities.