For the last couple of days, various media outlets are jumping in glee over the “sky-rocketing sales” and “massive recovery” in sales of Suzuki cars in Pakistan. They claim a 476% jump in Pak Suzuki sales, and a mind-boggling 1,200% increase in Swift sales— hilarious isn’t it?
However, like with most things here, the manner in which news is delivered needs to be much more mature, especially when large websites with high traffic are powered by amateur contributors. Let’s look at the facts.
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Pak Suzuki was observing a series of non-production days (NPDs) in January and February 2023 with plant operations at a complete halt. Although NPDs were being observed since August 2022, the situation intensified in the first two months of this calendar year. In January Pak Suzuki sold 2,940 units while in February it managed to sell only 978. However, as supplies improved in March, the company was able to sell 5,628 units which are good but not better.
To put this into perspective, Pak Suzuki’s sales average (before the NPDs) has been quite healthy for several years in a row. It’s no surprise since Suzuki is the largest assembler in Pakistan and enjoys over 52% of the market share. Suzuki car sales averaged more than 12,100 units each month (108,922 units sold in 9M-FY21). In fact, even in the pandemic year 2020, Pak Suzuki’s second-half sales (after the lockdowns were lifted) averaged more than 6,300 units, according to PAMA data (37,936 units sold between July and December 2020).
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This means that Suzuki’s “massive recovery” of 5,628 units in March 2023 is in fact 53% lower than its actual average (12,100 units) and even 11% less than the COVID-19-affected average. Hilariously, the Suzuki Alto 660cc alone has clocked more than 9,000 units in a month twice, and more than 5,000 units several times. Accordingly, the “massive recovery” of Suzuki (entire lineup) is not even close to the sales of an Alto during its peak.
Now let’s dissect the 1,200% surge in Suzuki Swift sales. Launched in February 2022, the new Swift saw a wonderful start to its journey in Pakistan after the previous one was dragged for over a decade sitting at the extreme bottom of the domestic sales chart. In the calendar year 2022, the new Suzuki Swift saw 12,833 units sold, rendering a monthly sales average of 1,283 units (March-December 2022).
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In November 2022, Swift recorded its highest-ever sales in a month registering sales of 2,242 units. Now the celebrated 1200% improvement in March 2023 sales (877 units) is in fact 61% less than its prime, and 31% less than the average (1,283 units) of its actual sales.
It’s like Suryakumar Yadav hitting 12 runs after three consecutive golden ducks and declaring it a 1,200% improvement when in fact the total is well below what he is best known for scoring. Yes, Suzuki’s sales have improved somewhat, but in my opinion, expressing this as a record-breaking feat is just a lame attempt to downplay the appalling figures.
I don’t eat, sleep or dream of cars, I am just someone who loves to see, think & write about cars. I love Ferrari in Pink but they won’t make one for me. I use X to write my full name, but that doesn’t mean I’m inspired by Altis X, in fact, my dad hates it 😀 Btw I’m an occasional writer so don’t expect too much from me 🙂