Indus Motor Company (IMC) recently stopped disclosing individual sales figures of Corolla and Yaris. The assemblers of Toyota cars in Pakistan will now present the combined figures, just like Honda Atlas has been doing with City and Civic since 2014. In addition, IMC has also started to present the combined numbers of IMVs instead of individual sales stats of Fortuner and Hilux.
This practice will shape into a weird trend that perhaps will only exist in our market. That is to combine the sales stats of a B-segment and a C-segment model and present them as a unified number. Around the world, sharing sales stats of cars is a common practice but there isn’t any example where sales of two very different vehicles are combined in order to camouflage the dwindling number of a certain model.
Honda was suffering from steeply declining sales after which it stopped sharing individual numbers of Civic and City in 2014. However with soaring sales, its strange why IMC has now stopped disclosing individual sales numbers of its cars. For example, in January 2022 the combined sales of Corolla and Yaris (5,528 units) stands 51.6% higher than that of Civic & City (3,646 units). As of the first 7 months of this fiscal year, sales of Toyota duo at 34,564 units are 62.5% more than Honda duo at 21,266 units combined.
However dissecting deep into the stats we learn that the sales of Toyota Yaris, which after enjoying a honeymoon period is now witnessing a sharp decline in sales. In January 2022, Yaris sold 40% less units than the aging 11th gen Corolla sedan, particularly in presence of new rivals such as 6th gen Honda City and Changan Alsvin.
Obviously since Toyota can maintain an edge with portraying the combined figures (of Corolla and Yaris) which are currently much higher than Honda (Civic and City), it will never want its once bestselling sedan to be shown at the losing end, especially in presence of new competitors. And in future when the 11th gen Civic will arrive, the combined sales will help IMC picture itself in a better position than to present lesser individual figures of its cars against the rivals.
But then one may ask what is the purpose of even sharing a combined number, they can simply add all the cars sold (booked) in a month and share their numbers. Why even bother to accumulate combined figures of just 2 cars together? Perhaps in future the trend might even push Hyundai-Nishat to show combined figures of Elantra and Sonata, or Suzuki to show combined sales of Cultus and WagonR instead of individual numbers, and so on.
Still the sales stats shared by PAMA (Pakisani Automobile Manufacturers Association) will always remain deficient since most automakers such as Kia, Changan, Proton, United and Regal are still not part of it hence sales numbers of these cars isn’t represented in PAMA data. Also since the ‘bookings’ are considered as ‘sales’, it never gives an accurate picture like that of other markets where either deliveries or new registrations are considered as actual sales. The recent case of record breaking sales in December 2021 is a perfect example.
Usually the end of year is the slowest period in terms of sales since buyers generally wait to get a new vehicle belonging to a New Year, but for the first time in December 2021 an astonishingly huge number of vehicles were ‘booked’ anticipating an increase in car prices amid added duties & taxes imposed in mini budget in January 2022. However the following month, an alarming 25% decline in sales was recorded in January. After all up to 90% cars are booked by investors according to research by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE). The automobile sector of Pakistan has reportedly made undocumented transactions worth up to Rs 170 billion during last 5 years under the head of additional charges, also known as own/ premium.
Related: Cars Sales: Booked vs Delivered
The sales data shared by PAMA will make sense in true means only when each and every automaker operating in Pakistan start sharing its data with complete transparency. And when the numbers of new registrations or deliveries are counted as sales instead of ghost bookings. Till that happens, non-members unwilling to share sales data and member companies sharing combined number of different vehicles will never serve any valid purpose and the data released each month will remain futile.
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