Car Sales Recovered Slightly in August But Nightmare Continues

In August 2023, the continuing economic problems once again thwarted the local auto industry. According to the latest data released by the Pakistan Automobile Manufacturers Association (PAMA), only 7,579 vehicles were sold in August, witnessing a deplorable year-over-year (YoY) decline of 36%. In August 2022, sales were recorded at 11,789 units.

On a month-over-month (MoM) basis though, the sales increased by 48%. According to industry experts, the significant MoM increase in car sales is due to the relaxation of CKD (completely knocked down) imports.

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However, with the recent relaxation in import policies, the bill for car CKD imports significantly increased. During July, imports of CKD four-wheelers, including cars, buses, 4x4s, and pick-ups, surged by 3.43x MoM to $117.6m as per the SBP data, and by 77% MoM to $70.6m as per Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data. According to SBP data, this figure represents the highest monthly import since June 2022 for the local auto assemblers.

The maximum number of sales was made within the ‘Below 1000cc’ category at 2,935 units. Within this segment, Suzuki Alto recorded the highest sales at 2,769 units. The second highest number of sales was made within the ‘1300cc and Above’ category at 2,310 units where Toyota (Corolla & Yaris) recorded the highest sales at 1,119 units, followed by Suzuki Swift and Honda Cars (Civic & City) which sold 506 and 492 units respectively. On the contrary, the ‘1000cc’ category which includes Suzuki Cultus and Wagon R witnessed a sale of just 664 units during the month.

Regarding PAMA members, Toyota (IMC) sold 1,548 units, reporting a 13% MoM increase in sales. Honda Atlas sold only 674 cars, witnessing a 36% MoM increase in sales. Pak Suzuki sold a decent 4,268 cars, with a 75% increase in monthly sales. Hyundai Nishat sold 778 cars last month, recording a 37% MoM increase in sales with Tucson being its bestselling product.

Related: Not the Ideal Start to New Fiscal Year for Local Assemblers

Non-PAMA members have also experienced a slight betterment in sales, however, according to analysts, the testing times are not yet over for the local auto sector, as more production hiccups and price increases are on the way.

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