The horror period for the local auto sector continues as car sales plunged to a deplorable 73% low in February 2023 compared to sales from the same month of the previous year, according to the data released by the Pakistan Automobile Manufacturers Association (PAMA).
Just 5,762 units (including passenger cars, vans, light commercial vehicles (LCVs) & small pickups) sold by the local auto industry during last month is the lowest monthly sales number after 4,500 units were sold in May 2020– during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Overall sales fell by 44% to 100,057 units in the first 8 months of the current fiscal year, down from 178,250 in the same period last year.
Pak Suzuki which is the largest auto assembler in the country and always enjoyed handsome sales even in the toughest of times is in hot water these days. The company sold 978 units in February, compared to 2,945 units in January, rendering a 67% decline. Its February sales were 92% lower than its February 2022 sales of 12,668 units. Pak Suzuki vehicle sales fell by 45% in 8MFY23, totaling 52,294 units.
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Barring Suzuki Swift, the sales of which stood at 7,707 units in 8MFY23 with 497 units in 8MFY22, the sales of the rest of Suzuki vehicles were quite hopeless. Cultus (5,758), WagonR (4,533), Alto (28,202), Bolan (3,083), and Ravi (3,011 units) in July-Feb FY23 were down from 17,380, 14,812, 43,427, 8,267 and 10,025 in 8MFY22, witnessing a fall of 67%, 69%, 35%, 63%, and 70% respectively.
Indus Motor Company (IMC) sales fell by 49% in February to 1,803 units from 3,570 in January, whereas IMC sold 4,630 units in February 2022. Toyota Corolla and Yaris sales plummeted by 61% in 8MFY23 to 14,875 units from 38,300 in 8MFY22, while Fortuner and Hilux sales fell by 21% to 8,805 units from 11,119 in 8MFY22.
Honda Civic/City sales fell 50% to 11,770 units in the first 8 months of FY23, from 23,552 in the same period last year. The combined figure of these two cars stood at 1,244 units in February, compared to 1,620 units in January and 2,286 in February 2022. Despite a 64% drop in Honda BR-V sales to 392 units in February from 1,084 in January, the overall sales were 31% higher in 8MFY23 to 3,673 units, up from 2,807 in 8MFY22. This is simply because Honda Atlas has combined the sales of the HR-V with the BR-V.
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However, in this grim auto sales scenario, Hyundai Tucson performed much better, selling 708 units in February versus 620 units the previous month. Tucson sales increased by 60% to 3,558 units in 8MFY23, up from 2,230 in 8MFY22. Elantra and Sonata sales increased to 243 and 197 units, respectively, in February, up from 173 and 191 units in January. However, their demand fell by 12% and 43% in 8MFY23, respectively, to 1,695 and 939 units, compared to 1,929 and 1,638 units in 8MFY22. Hyundai Porter sales were 123 units in February, down 21 percent from January, while sales declined 27% to 846 units in 8MFY23.
The agriculture sector also remained weak, as Al-Ghazi Tractors and Millat Tractors sales fell 46% and 51% respectively, to 7,143 and 11,106 units in 8MFY23, from 13,177 and 22,775 units in 8MFY22. During the discussed period, two-wheeler and three-wheeler sales fell to 825,354 and 13,526 units, respectively, from 984,709 and 20,624 units in 8MFY22.
The steeply declining auto sales trend is attributed to the lack of availability of completely knocked down (CKD) kits, difficulties in obtaining LCs, plant closures, outrageously rising car prices, expensive auto financing, and customers’ constantly shrinking purchasing power.
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