Pakistan's auto industry witnesses worst month for sales
Car sales fall 52% in 10MFY20 to 98,449 units
KARACHI: Yet another sector is reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as Pakistan’s auto industry witnessed worst month for car sales and recorded zero sales during April 2020.
The three big automobile companies did not even sell a single vehicle last month as the country remained on lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, according to latest data by Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA).
The lockdown due to Covid-19, imposed by the government in the latter half of March 2020 till date, has resulted in closure of plant operations along with car dealerships across the country, according to Topline Securities analyst Hammad Akram.
Car sales fell 52% in the first 10 months of the ongoing financial year to 98,449 units in April 2020. Meanwhile, on a month-on-month basis sales clocked-in at just 39 units.
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Honda Car sales were down 64% during the 10-month period to 14,061 units against the same period of last year. This was followed by Indus Motors and Pak Suzuki Motor Company with a decrease of 54% and 47% year-on-year, respectively.
Atlas Honda Limited bikes recorded nominal sales of 2,783 units in April 2020 compared to record sales of around 100, 000 units in the same month of the previous year.
Bikes were being sold online and some shops were open in small towns, according to Association of Pakistan Motorcycle Assemblers (APMA) Chairman Muhammad Sabir Shaikh. Despite the lockdown, demand of bikes in the market has not died out completely. Instead, due to the demand, bikes are sold on much higher price.
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For example, Honda 125cc engine bike, which is priced at Rs125,000 is sold at price of more than Rs145,000, according to him. Another model of the company 150cc Honda, which is priced at Rs220,000 is not available even at price of Rs250,000 in the market as some of the dealers have hoarded the vehicles to sale it on higher price.
The government of Pakistan has allowed tractor industry to resume operation in mid-April 2020, keeping in view the importance of the approaching wheat harvesting season, according to Akram. The tractor sales during April 2020 recorded a decline of 63% to 2,035 units compared to 5,430 units in the same month of last year.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2020.
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