Pakistan’s auto sales fall 6.4% in current fiscal year’s first two months

Islamabad: Pakistan’s auto sector sales contracted for the first time since the fiscal year of 2014-15 (excluding taxi scheme) during the first two months of the fiscal year of 2018-19.

According to the official data released by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturing Association (PAMA) on Tuesday, Pakistan’s auto sales fell by 20.06 per cent during the month of August 2018, thereby shrinking by 6.4 per cent during the first two months of the fiscal year of 2018-19 on a yearly comparison, Xinhua reported.

Auto sector experts believe that major reasons behind the contraction in sales included a lower number of working days due to the Eid-ul-Adha festival and Independence Day in August, deteriorating macroeconomic environment, price hikes in the ongoing calendar year, and impact of law requiring car purchasers to be tax filers.

Syed Daniyal Ali at Topline Securities in the southern port city of Karachi informed Xinhua that the slowdown is expected to continue in the coming months as the rising interest rates and depreciation of Pakistani rupee against dollar are taking their toll on the auto sector numbers. The rising interest rates are likely to result in the decline in consumer financing whereas currency devaluation might result in further price hikes by the auto manufacturers, he added.

During the month of August 2018, Pakistan’s auto sales were calculated at 17,662 units, which were 20.06 per cent or 4,432 units lower when compared with auto sales of 22,094 units recorded during the same month of the last year.

The country’s auto sales were recorded at 21,344 units in the month of July 2018, which were 9.03 percent or 1,767 units more when compared with 19,577 units posted in July 2017. During the first two months of the fiscal year of 2018-19, Pakistan’s auto sales were clocked in at 39,006 units, which were 6.4 per cent or 2,665 units lower as against the auto sales of 41,671 units reported during the same period of the previous year.

Indus Motor Company (INDU) emerged as the top performer in the Pakistani auto sector during the period under review as its sales contracted the least during the month of August 2018 as against the same month of the previous year. The Japanese car maker sold 5,018 units in August 2018 as against sales of 5,541 units sold in August last year.

Honda Atlas Car’s (HCAR) sales plummeted by 15 percent to 3,961 units in August 2018 as against sales of 4,665 units posted in August last year. Pak-Suzuki Motor Company’s (PSMC) sales contracted by 27 percent to 8,683 units in August this year when compared with the sales of 11,888 units reported in August last year.

Syed Daniyal Ali said that Indus Motor Company’s sales were led by Hilux, which contributed to its robust growth trajectory, going up by 23 per cent on a yearly comparison. On the other hand, the sales of Corolla and Fortuner dropped by 12 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

Commenting on the factors behind the drop in sales of Honda Atlas Cars, he pointed out that the sales of Civic and City fell by 12 per cent over a year while BR-V sales continued the dismal run which started last month, falling by 32 per cent.

For Pakistan-Suzuki Motor Company, the major decline was witnessed in Ravi and Mehran variants with 50 percent and 42 per cent decline, respectively. Suzuki Wagon-R was able to maintain its sales growth which expanded by 11 percent on a yearly comparison.