Auto sector posts healthy growth in year 16/17

KARACHI: Car sales continued to show robust growth, reaching 87,273 units in July-November against 71,877 units in same period in the previous fiscal year.

The bus segment remained in the red as overall sales plunged to 276 units from 468. However, assemblers of heavy vehicles covered up their bus sales losses with surging sales of trucks which swelled to 3,574 units from 2,766.

Figures released by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (Pama) showed a slight fall in Toyota Corolla sales to 21,518 units in the first five months of this fiscal year from 21,628 units.

Sales of Honda Civic and City reached 17,157 from 14,155 units. Due to heavy advanced booking orders and combined figures of Civic and City released by Pama, it is hard to ascertain any negative impact on the sales of Honda Civic in view of Honda Atlas’s complain to the government regarding low quality petrol and production closure of Civic Turbo model.

Suzuki Swift sales stood at 1,760 units versus 1,789 units in the same period last year. Introduction of the new Cultus boosted sales to 8,002 units from 5,805 units in July-Nov 2016 while WagonR sales almost doubled to 11,383 from 6,183 units.

Amid tough challenge with 660cc used imported cars, Suzuki Mehran excelled with sales of 18,829 as against 14,394 units. Suzuki Bolan, which was losing ground after completion of Punjab Taxi Scheme last fiscal, appeared to have recovered with sales of 8,624 units in July-Nov 2017 as compared to 7,923 units in corresponding period of 2016.

In trucks, Hinopak maintained its top position achieving sales of 1,496 units as compared to 1,214 units followed by 621 units by Master and 1,439 units by Isuzu as against 402 and 807 units respectively in July-Nov 2016. Ghandhara Nissan had already shut down its production of UD trucks from July 2017.

In buses, Hinopak and Isuzu sales fell to 149 and 20 units from 336 and 80 units while Master bus emerged triumphant by registering sales of 107 units as compared to 52 units. In jeeps, Toyota Fortuner reached to new height of 1,408 units from 187 while sales of Honda BR-V, introduced in July 2017, recorded 4,410 units. Suzuki Ravi sales recovered to 9,178 units from 7,459 units. Ravi was also the main vehicle delivered under Punjab Taxi Scheme last fiscal.

A total of 2,632 units of Toyota Hilux were sold in July-Nov 2017 against 1,968 units in same period of 2016.

In farm machinery, sales of Fiat and Massey Ferguson tractors hit 10,838 and 16,421 units comparing to 6,767 and 10,596 units.

Overall sale of two- and three-wheeler assemblers of Pama members surged to 787,347 from 651,983 units in which the share of Honda bikes stood at 454,195 in comparison to 374,558 units.

Sale of United Auto Motorcycle, the second biggest bike assemblers, rose to 165,481 units from 135,189 units. Suzuki and Yamaha sold 8,528 and 8,611 units as against 7,170 and 5,178 units in July-Nov 2016.

Rai Omar Basharat at Top Line Securities said lower GST on tractor purchase, fertiliser cash subsidy, along with Rs2bn subsidy for farmers on tractor purchase recently announced in FY18 Sindh provincial budget to improve farmers’ purchasing power increased overall tractor sales.

He said truck sales would remain strong fueled by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, higher road connectivity, low financing rate, change and enforcement of axle load limit per truck on highways by National Highway Authority.

Bike and three-wheeler sales are rising due to rising disposable income of the lower middle class.