Local automobile sales down 7.5%

Excluding sales under Punjab Taxi Scheme, auto sector sees growth

Our Correspondent March 11, 2017

KARACHI: Local automobile sales (including LCVs and jeeps) in the first eight months (Jul-Feb) of fiscal year 2017 remained 138,103 units, down 7.5% compared with 149,311 units in the same period of the previous year, according to data released by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) on Friday.

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However, auto sales continued to witness strong growth, given additional sales under Punjab Taxi Scheme that discontinued last year, in the first eight months of fiscal year 2017.

Car sales, including import of 60,000 units, may touch 270,000 units in fiscal year 2017, according to a Topline Securities report.

February 2017 car sales (including light commercial vehicles (LCV’s) and jeeps) came at par with expectations, the report said. On a month-on-month basis, car sales declined 6% (5-year average contraction of 8% month-on-month) in February 2017 due to lesser number of working days in the month compared to January.

Pak Suzuki Motor Company’s (PSMC) volumes remained strong (ex-taxi scheme) due to robust sales of Wagon-R and Bolan in the first eight months of fiscal year 2017. Wagon-R reached new heights with 1,638 units in February 2017 despite increase in its prices.

Indus Motors (INDU) witnessed contraction during in the first eight months of fiscal year 2017 due to operational issues. Toyota Fortuner sales in February 2017 stood at 237 units (up 6.6 times year-on-year) where the waiting period is about 6 months with a premium reaching to 0.5 million.

Honda Car (HCAR) sales continued to depict robust trend. Moreover, HCAR recently initiated bookings for newly launched BR-V. According to industry officials, around 2,000 BR-Vs have been booked up till now.

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Tractor manufacturers continued to witness buoyancy in sales with sales growing by 80% in the first eight months of fiscal year 2017. Tractor sales during fiscal year 2017 are expected to increase due to lower retail price (reduced GST) and improving crop yield while continuation of fertiliser subsidy will further support liquidity among farmers, the report added.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2017.

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