Auto consumers of Pakistan might see another increase in car prices as Rupee has declined to the lowest-ever at Rs 167 against the US Dollar. According to reports, the increase in prices will also include the newly introduced Yaris subcompact sedan which carried an ‘introductory’ price tag when Indus Motor Company (IMC) began collecting its 100% advance bookings last month.
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However the launch ceremony of Yaris was postponed due to coronavirus lockdowns; furthermore the bookings were also halted as local automakers are observing plant shutdowns in order to help stop the spread of deadly virus. This will also affect the deliveries of the already booked units.
As per information car prices including that of Yaris might witness an increase of up to Rs 100,000 after the latest depreciation of Pak Rupee. How well this will affect the ailing auto industry which is already going through a gloomy period ever since the beginning of this fiscal year with a 43% decline in sales, is yet to be seen.
Sales have remain subdued because even when the Rupee recovered & in fact remained stable for quite a few months late last year, the local automakers kept making substantial price increases to dampen their declining profits, this has dented the sales quite badly.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, automobile sales, production & parts supply chain have witnessed major disruption in various parts of the world. With key manufacturing plants halting their operations across the globe, automobile companies including those operating in Pakistan are going to face a really tough time in future. Even in Europe new vehicle registrations have seen a sharp 70% decline already.
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Nobody knows at this stage when things will settle or when the local automakers will be able to resume their operations. Furthermore in these times of uncertainty, consumers will be spending more on essential goods and services, and cars may be far from their minds. It might take a long time for things to settle down which might result in further financial despair for the local auto industry.
And even after the situation is restored, there will be a drastic change in consumer preferences, considering which pushing the prices up will no longer be an easy remedy for local automakers to dampen their shrinking profit margins. Global economic scenario is about to witness a drastic change after the coronavirus pandemic and local auto industry won’t be an exception for sure.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com