According to the latest data released by the auto industry, the imports of used cars and minivans surged to 65,723 units in 2017, up almost 70 per cent from 38,676 units a year ago. As per the report published in Dawn, the local industry maintains a record of each imported vehicle, whether new or old, through the Import General Manifest (IGM). Every imported car is logged in the customs’ IGM.
It is said that low interest rates, increase in auto financing by banks and lifting of vehicles by investors for cab services like Careem and Uber boosted the imports of used cars as well as sales of locally assembled vehicles. Although the government imposed regulatory duties on the purchase of foreign used vehicles in October, it largely failed to dent the overall annual import figures.
Related: Are Used Imports A Blessing?
According to the figures, the import of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) increased 59% to 7,758 units while imports of pickups and vans registered a 9% rise to 3,154 units. As many as 5,088 units of Suzuki Every were brought into Pakistan in 2017, up 14.6% year-on-year. Imports of Daihatsu Hijet rose 34.5% to 3,367 units.
Among passenger cars, Toyota Vitz remained the most popular imported vehicle in 2017. As many as 8,680 units arrived in 2017, up almost 40% from a year ago. The volume of Daihatsu Mira swelled 73.1% to 6,091 units. Toyota Aqua imports climbed 96% to 7,123 units from 3,622 units in 2016. The arrival of Suzuki Alto doubled to 4,158 units from 2,013 units a year ago. Suzuki WagonR imports surged 115pc to 3,574 units.
Imports of Honda Vezel and Toyota Land Cruiser stood 2,431 units and 3,301 units in 2017, up 57.5% and 55.7%, respectively, on an annual basis.
A vast number of people opt for imported cars despite being used, because of the fact that locally assembled vehicles are yet to match the quality, safety and equipment of imported cars. Furthermore there is a huge delay in deliveries coupled with the menace of own/ premium which is yet to be curbed while the available choices are extremely limited too.
Related: New Cars Expected to Launch in 2018
The new automobile policy has attracted several additional players including Kia, Hyundai and Renault which will enhance the competition in the market. On the other hand existing players are also investing in expanding their production capacities while in process of introducing new models in 2018/19. The government has modified the procedure for the payment of duties and taxes to curb imports of used vehicles which is supposed to help boost the sales of locally assembled vehicles.