Robust car sales growth, culmination of outstanding auto sector performance – Journal

KARACHI: The automotive sector recorded a strong performance in the first nine months of the current financial year (9MFY22) marked by an increase of 53.8% in sales of cars, 66.4% of trucks, 45.8% jeeps/vans and 12.1% tractors. However, a decline in sales of buses and two- and three-wheelers was noted during the period under review.

Massive price increases, high interest rates and restrictions imposed by the State Bank of Pakistan on car financing from the last quarter of 2021 do not appear to have seriously shaken buyer sentiment. As a result, total car sales increased to 172,612 units in FY9F22 from 112,244 units in the same period of FY21. Combined Toyota Corolla and Yaris sales reached 43,695 units in 9MFY22 against 34,976 units a year ago.

Honda Civic/City sales jumped 43pc to 26,830 units in 9MFY22 from 18,816 units a year ago. Suzuki Cultus and WagonR sales were up 46pc and 91pc 17,686 and 16,916 from 12,108 and 8,867 units.

Sales of Suzuki Bolan and Suzuki Alto jumped 47 and 83 pc to 9,562 and 53,241 units from 6,498 and 29,038. Sales of newcomers Hyundai Elantra and Sonata in 9MFY22 were 2,286 and 1,888.

Combined sales of Toyota jeeps and pickup trucks were 12,872 in the reporting period, compared to 7,695 units in fiscal year 9MFY21. Hyundai Tucson and Honda BR-V sales jumped 2% and 10% to 2,806 and 3,180 units from 2,759 and 2,882 units.

Sales of Suzuki Rav, JAC, Isuzu D-Max and Hyundai Porter increased by 51%, 46%, 58% and 51% to 11,517, 712, 310 and 1,284 units in July-March 2021-2022, compared to 7 606, 488, 196 and 848 in the same period last year.

Total jeep/pickup sales in 9MFY22 were 32,769 units versus 22,474 units per year, showing that buyers are heavily focused on high engined vehicles.

For two- and three-wheelers, total sales fell to 1.377 million units in 9MFY22 from 1.438 million units in 9MFY21 despite a 6% jump in Honda bike sales to 1.018 million units from 961,076, 59 % for Suzuki motorcycles at 27,693 units from 17,363 units and 10% for Yamaha bikes at 18,193 units from 16,597 units. Consumers did not limit their purchases to bikes assembled in Japan despite multiple price shocks from assemblers.

However, the massive declines in Chinese bicycles and three-wheelers have continued to persist over the past nine months. For example, in 9MFY22, Road Prince and United Auto Motorcycle sales fell 34% and 28% to 73,450 and 207,215 units from 111,570 and 286,899 units a year ago.

Sales of Qingqi, Road Prince and United three-wheelers came in at 10,879 units, 6,227 and 2,322 units from 14,646, 7,498 and 5,556 units, down 26%, 17% and 58% respectively.

Total truck sales jumped to 4,493 units from 2,700 units due to the massive recovery in sales of Hino, Master, Isuzu and JAC.

Total bus sales in 9MFY22 fell 11% to 458 units from 514 units in which Hino and Isuzu sales faced declines of 22% and 29% to 122 and 65 units, while sales of Master increased slightly by 2% to 271 units from 265 units.

In agricultural tractors, Fiat and Massey Ferguson sales amounted to 15,737 and 25,866 units compared to 10,999 and 25,927 units. However, Millat Tractors kept production closed from March 7 to 21, 2022 due to operational constraints. In March 2022, the company deployed 2,199 units compared to 2,431 units.

Sunny Kumar of Top Line Securities said that the significant increase in the number of Toyota vehicles is due to the resumption of operation of the plant which was closed for a week in February 2022 and a lower number of working days by compared to last month. The rise in truck sales reflects the rise in transport activity, he added.

Posted in Dawn, April 13, 2022

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