Automobile sector of Pakistan is experiencing tough times as it recorded a slowdown in sales which dropped 8% to 237,950 units in fiscal year 2019. The ongoing massive depreciation of Pak Rupee against the US Dollar and imposition of additional duties and taxes have pushed the prices of automobiles beyond the reach of masses.
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This is the first time after 6 years that automobile sales have witnessed a decline. This is attributed to various factors including the restriction on non-filers from purchase of new cars which was later lifted, significant and continuous price hikes due to Rupee depreciation and massive economic slowdown.
Honda Atlas remained at the receiving end of the stick with its sales going down 14% to 44,234 units from 51,494 units. Sales of Honda City and Civic fell 8% year-on-year to 39,189 units while that of BR-V went down by a massive 42% to 5,045 units.
Pak Suzuki also took a hit as its sales plunged 11% to 128,317 units. The decline was led by 800cc Mehran, whose sales went down 31% as its production was stopped in March 2019. The company has just introduced the 660cc Alto as its replacement. While sales of Bolan and Ravi declined 19% and 15% to 17,628 units and 18,281 units respectively, WagonR and Cultus recorded year-on-year growth of 12% and 11% respectively.
Sales of vehicles under 1,000cc engine capacity dipped 24% to 35,008 units however sales of cars above 1,300cc increased 2% to 100,959 units. This is due to the fact that Indus Motor Company recorded a growth of 4% in sales to 65,399 units in FY-2019. The increase in sales was led by the Toyota Corolla, which recorded a growth of 10% to 56,720 units. On the other hand, year-on-year sales of Fortuner and Hilux declined 38% and 19%, respectively.
It is imperative to mention that Honda Atlas has announced to shut down its plant for 10 days as its inventories have piled up to 2,000 units due to diminishing car sales. Similarly Indus Motor Company has also decided to stop car production for 8 days (2 days a week) during this month. Pak Suzuki however, will reportedly take decision whether or not to cut down production in forthcoming days after analyzing sales trend and flow of booking orders.