Car sales plunge 44pc in December on import curbs

KARACHI: Passenger car sales plunged 44 percent in December from a year earlier, industry data showed on Wednesday, a sign that import bottlenecks continued to weigh on the country’s fragile consumption.

The passenger car sales dropped to 13,768 units in December 2022, against 24,471 units recorded in December 2021, as per data released by Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA).

December 2022 sales of PAMA members decreased by 11 percent, compared with 15,432 units sold in November 2022, while six-month sales of passenger cars dropped by 40 percent, it added.

Pakistan car sales (including sales of non-PAMA members) clocked in at around 18,000 units, down 8 percent month-on-month primarily due to non-availability of CKD [Completely Knocked Down] parts amid LC issues, which led to non-production days,” Topline Securities stated in a report.

A year-end phenomenon where consumers generally delay their purchases until the new year contributed to a month-on-month (MoM) decline, it added.

According to PAMA data, with an exception of Suzuki’s Swift and jeeps, sales of all other variants of cars, trucks, buses, tractors, pick-ups and three-wheelers as well as two-wheelers witnessed a decline in December 2022, compared to the same period last year, the data showed.

In first five months of the financial year 2023, a total of 68,900 units were sold, down 40 percent against 114,774 units sold during the same period in 2022.

In December 2022 alone, sales of 1300cc and above cars were recorded at 4,477 units, down 55 percent, compared with the same period previous year’s sales of 9,964 units. Similarly, 1,000cc cars recorded sales of 1,929 units, (1,057 units of Suzuki Cultus and 872 units of Suzuki WagonR), against 4,272 units in the same month last year.

Below 1,000cc vehicles counted a sale of 7,362 units, lower by 28 percent against 10,235 units last year. Suzuki’s new Alto, which saw remarkable sales of 7,255 units in November 2022, also decreased to 6,898 units in December 2022, compared with 9,195 units in December 2021.

Buses and trucks witnessed a decrease to 286 units in December 2022, from 335 units in December 2021.

The sale of jeeps and pick-ups increased to 3,216 units from 2,870 units sold during the same period last year because of an addition in the category of Sazgar Haval and Chery Tiggo. However, the major reason was a huge increase in Honda BR-V and HR-V sales to 1,098 units, against 303 units during the same period in 2021.

Sales of tractors dropped to 1,015 units, from 4,476 units in December 2021. The sale of rickshaws and motorbikes decreased to 103,899 units in December 22, against 142,412 units in the same period last year.

On a year-on-year basis, weak demand dynamics were evident from a 38 percent fall (including non-PAMA members) in sales in Dec-2022, also taking a decline of 38 percent year-on-year in the first half of FY23, primarily attributable to escalating car prices, expensive auto financing, and the low purchasing power of consumers.

Honda Car (HCAR) reported an increase of 5 percent MoM to 2,079 units in Dec-2022, whereas Indus Motors (INDU) reported a decline of 13 percent MoM to 2,823 units in Dec-2022 due to non-production days. Hyundai sales went up 37 percent MoM, where Tuscon was up 67 percent MoM and Elantra sales rose by 41 percent MoM. Pak Suzuki reported a decline of 8 percent MoM to 11,342 units.

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