Auto sales plummet 41% in August

KARACHI: There was no respite in the plight of the auto sector as sales continued to plunge, recording a 41% year-on-year decline to just 10,496 units in August 2019, from 17,662 units in the same month of previous year.

The downward trend was mainly due to higher auto prices post-rupee devaluation, less number of working days amid Eid holidays and an overall economic slowdown, according to Topline Securities analyst Hammad Akram.

Meanwhile, month-on-month sales were down 16% from 12,482 units in July 2019, according to data released by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (Pama). Sales of tractors also registered a decline of 37% year-on-year to 2,545 units.

In terms of companies, the major dent to industry sales came from Honda Atlas Cars. The company performed poorly, with sales dipping by a massive 67% on a year-on-year basis to 1,314 units in August 2019 from 3,961 units in the previous year. Sales of City and Civic fell by 68% year-on-year amid a significant increase in their prices. On the other hand, BR-V too continued to underperform as its sales were down significantly by 58%.

Indus Motor Company fared no better as it recorded 57% plunge in sales. “The significant attrition in the volumes is mainly due to a 59% year-on-year decline in sales of its Corolla variant, which historically has shown exceptional performance and supported Indus Motor’s overall volumes,” stated Akram.

The company sold 2,173 units in August 2019, compared to 5,018 units in the previous year. The same downward trend was also reflected in demand for Fortuner and Hilux, whose sales declined by 57% and 41% year-on-year, respectively.

Pak Suzuki also recorded a 19% decline in August due to weakening sales of Wagon-R, which was down 74% year-on-year mainly due to shift of customers interest towards Alto and upcoming Kia’s Variant Picanto.

“Alto recorded sales of 3,435 units, down by 25% month-on-month as per our channel checks. However, its demand is expected to increase in upcoming months.”

Sales of Bolan and Ravi variants were down 69% and 67% year-on-year, respectively. Swift sales were down by 54% year-on-year compared to the same period last year.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2019.

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