Car sales fall 13% in February 2019

Decline comes on back of slowdown in economy

Our Correspondent March 12, 2019
A man checks out luxury vehicles at a showroom. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: Auto assemblers faced a setback as sales of locally produced vehicles fell 13% in February 2019 amid an overall slowdown in economy.

According to data released by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (Pama), total car sales declined to 19,712 units in February 2019, compared to 22,654 in the same month of previous year. Meanwhile, month-on-month sales were down 13% from 23,562 in January 2019.

Topline Securities, in its report, attributed the decline to the lower number of working days in the month.

Previously, the restriction on purchase of new automobiles by non-filers of tax returns significantly dented sales of the companies. However, in the Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment) Bill 2019, which was endorsed by the National Assembly last week, the government completely withdrew the restriction. It allowed non-filers to buy new vehicles of any engine capacity.

“Measures in the economic reforms package are expected to support declining volumes. However, volumes will still see a downward trend in the months to come due to slowdown in economy as well as a significant jump in prices in the last 15 months,” remarked Topline Securities’ analyst Syed Daniyal Adil.

Indus Motor continued to demonstrate progress as its sales grew 8% year-on-year to 5,529 units in February 2019, from 5,108 units in the same month of previous year.

“Indus Motor reported growth yet again as the strong (albeit thinning) order book continues to support sales,” the report added.

For the first time in eight months, Fortuner sales rose 80% year-on-year, while Corolla continued its growth trend with 23% higher sales. On the other hand, Hilux sales fell 72%, the highest decline in 19 months.

Meanwhile, Pak Suzuki continued to report year-on-year decline in sales, which fell 17% in Feb 2019 to 10,851 units. Sales of Honda vehicles recorded the worst year-on-year decline since April 2012, dropping 27% to 3,281 units. This coincided with the worst decline in sales of City and Civic variants, which fell 24%. 

Published in The Express Tribune, March 12th, 2019.

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