Car sales fall 47% during July-March FY20

Fall comes as automobile plants close down due to coronavirus

​ Our Correspondent April 11, 2020
KARACHI: The situation deteriorated further for the already struggling automobile sector as car sales fell 47% in the first nine months of the current fiscal year amid a nationwide lockdown in the wake of COVID-19.

According to data released by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) on Friday, sales of automobiles clocked in at 97,664 units during July-March FY20 compared to 185,023 units in the same period of the previous fiscal year.

"The abysmally low sales because of COVID-19 outbreak have added to the sector's already weak sales, resulting in overall auto sales registering a decline of 47% year-on-year in 9MFY20," said Topline Securities' analyst Hammad Akram.

Meanwhile, a report from Arif Habib Limited noted that March saw lowest monthly car sales after December 2008 amid enforcement of lockdown by provincial governments to limit the spread of coronavirus, which also resulted in closure of plants.

The outlook remained gloomy for all three major market players as they posted significant decline in sales during the period under review. Honda Atlas Cars remained the major laggard with a 61% drop in sales to 14,061 units in the nine-month period compared to 35,888 units in the same period of previous fiscal year. Indus Motor Company fared no better and recorded a drop of 49% in sales to 25,300 units during July-March 2019-20.

Sales of Pak Suzuki Motor Company were down 41% to 58,303 units during the period under review.

Monthly figures

Car sales fell by 43% on a month-on-month basis due to lockdown imposed by the government, which led retailers and automobile plants to close down.

"Car sales have plunged by 70% year-on-year and 43% month-on-month in March 2020 amidst the lockdown in the country due to the outbreak of COVID-19," Akram pointed out. "The lockdown in the country started on March 23, 2020."

Sales of Pak Suzuki Motors plunged 50% in March to 2,673 units compared to 5,377 units in February 2020.

The research house highlighted that Pak Suzuki Motor Company recorded its lowest monthly sales since March 2009 with volumes declining by 81% year-on-year and 50% month-on-month.

Indus Motor Company reported a 43% decline in its sales to 2,593 units in March compared to 4,510 in February. Honda Atlas Cars posted the least monthly decline of 27% in March. Sales of the company fell from 2,141 units in February to 1,564 in March.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2020.

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