Astronomical Difference in 2-Wheeler and 4-Wheeler Prices

We’ve previously addressed the rising price disparity between 2-wheelers and 4-wheelers several times, but the difference has become so astronomical that it needs to be highlighted again.

For a recap, the price of an entry-level 70cc (Chinese) motorcycle in 2005 was around Rs 30,000 while the base variant of Suzuki Mehran was available for around Rs 310,000. resulting in a price difference of Rs 280,000. Five years later, the price of an entry-level Mehran had reached 425,000 while that of a 70cc motorcycle was around Rs 35,000, for a price difference of Rs 390,000.

Related: Rising Difference in Motorcycle & Car Prices & the Need to Fill the Gap

By 2015, the price difference between the two had reached roughly Rs 588,000. But things after 2018 went haywire. By 2020, the price of a 70cc Chinese-origin locally assembled motorcycle was around Rs 53,000 whereas a 660cc Suzuki Alto was Rs 1,159,000, bear in mind Alto replaced the 800cc Mehran in June 2019. This created a price difference of more than PKR 1.1 million (Rs 1,145,000) between an entry-level 2-wheeler and a mass-produced entry-level 4-wheeler.

price difference cspk

However, things just kept getting worse. Fast forward to today, the price of a common 70cc motorcycle has reached around Rs 114,000 whereas the base Suzuki Alto VX, which misses out on plenty of basics including an air conditioner, alloy wheels, airbags, power windows, music players and speakers and loads of other amenities, costs as high as Rs 2,251,000. This creates a price disparity of a whopping Rs 2,137,000 between the two.

Related: Demand for Motorcycles and the New Auto Policy for Safer Cars

Because of this, along with the fuel prices which have multiplied by two within the last couple of years, have forced those who could dream of buying a 4-wheeler into opting for a new 2-wheeler because even the used cars are out of the reach of many. Still, the insanely high prices of 2-wheelers have resulted in a decline in sales but the impact is relatively less than the dent in 4-wheeler sales.

As of the first 6 months of this fiscal year, 541,821 units of 2/3 wheelers were sold in comparison to 627,835 units sold in the same period of the previous fiscal year rendering a 13% decline in sales. Not to mention the decline in sales of 4-wheelers is a deplorable 57%. Pakistan currently ranks 4th globally in the production of motorcycles, but the sort of machines produced here are quite ancient, based on 35+ years old technology sold nowhere else in the world. The only thing that keeps on constantly changing is the graphic stickers.

alto 2

Still, the rising prices of both 2-wheelers and 4-wheelers and the ever-increasing gap between their prices is a matter of concern. In recent years we have already seen sedan buyers opting for fuel-efficient hatchbacks, new hatchback buyers preferring slightly used ones due to outrageously high prices, those who could afford to buy a used car transitioning towards new motorcycles, and those who could afford a new motorcycle few years back are no longer able to buy one, as they are now going for used 2-wheelers.

Related: How Can Car Sales Improve in Pakistan?

Although stakeholders are optimistic that the industry will bounce back after elections, however, without taking stern measures to uplift sales, the revival of the auto industry, be it 2-wheelers or 4-wheelers looks like sheer fantasy.

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