KARACHI: Car imports have almost tripled in the current financial year amid massive jump in local assembled prices.
Import data shows that 51,895 units have been imported during July 2011 to May 2012, showing a phenomenal increase from last year’s approximately 20,000 units.
Importers expect the mark to cross 60,000 units by the end of fiscal 2013, which is three times more than the number of vehicle rolled out of the ports in the preceding fiscal year.
All Pakistan Motor Dealers Association (APMDA) Chairman H M Shahzad said that increase in local prices gave used Japanese cars the opportunity to penetrate the local market.
However, local assemblers claim that the increase is in tandem with used imports.
The sharp depreciation of local currency against US dollar and Japanese Yen has resulted in price hike of both locally produced and used imported cars, said an official of a local assembler.
At present the government only allows import of cars five-year-old used cars, however, importers have been pushing for an increase in this limit to 10 years. The government opted to keep the policy unchanged in the recently announced budget despite strong rumours of a relaxation in the age-limit.
Local car assemblers have been the main stumbling block to the move as their profits will witness a huge drop if the move goes through.
Pakistan allowed imports of only three-year old cars before 2003-04 and then relaxed it to ten years till 2006-07. However, the age-limit was cut down to five years on demand of local car makers and not been touched since.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2012.
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