KARACHI: Sales of light commercial vehicles (LCVs), vans and jeeps showed a stunning 44% growth in the first quarter of 2016-17 compared to the same period of previous year.
Sales of LCVs, vans and jeeps (excluding the Punjab government’s Apna Rozgar Scheme) jumped to 1,585 units in the first quarter (Jul-Sep) of 2016-17 compared with 1,101 units in the same period of last year, according to the first quarterly report of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
The number of units sold is much smaller in this category, however, the percentage increase is 6.7 times higher than the 6.5% growth in sales of passenger cars in the quarter under review (excluding the Apna Rozgar Scheme).
Analysts link this phenomenon with the low base effect and growing trade activities in the country.
“This is mainly happening because of the increase in trade and commercial activities. Moreover, there is also a very positive impact of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on vehicle sales,” JS Research analyst Ahmed Lakhani told The Express Tribune.
Pointing to the rising auto financing, Lakhani said the government had for the first time included the financing for commercial vehicles - both small and large - in the new auto policy, which was allowing more people to buy vehicles through banks.
According to latest data, total car sales in the first five months of the current fiscal year 2016-17 were 81,491 units, down 13% year-on-year. Excluding sales under the Punjab taxi scheme, volumes recorded an increase of 12% year-on-year.
Analysts say car sales will remain buoyant in FY17 despite the end of the Punjab taxi scheme.
With the arrival of an average 5,000 imported cars per month, total vehicle sales in the country will be 270,000 units in the current fiscal year.
Honda Atlas Cars sold 14,155 units in the first five months of 2016-17, an increase of 49% year-on-year.
Indus Motor’s sales dropped 8% with the company selling 23,783 units in July-November 2016.
Pak Suzuki Motor Company sold 43,553 units in the five months, a fall of 25% year-on-year, primarily because of lower sales of Bolan and Ravi variants after the wrapping up of the taxi scheme.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2017.
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