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Car sales plunge by 48pc in January

Car sales plunge by 48pc in January

ISLAMABAD: Car sales plummeted 48 percent year-on-year to 11,787 units in January as waning buying power amid economic slowdown continued to take a toll on the auto industry.

Brokerage Topline Research on Tuesday said car sales were recorded at 22,513 units in the corresponding month a year earlier. In January, car sales slightly fell two per cent month-on-month contrary to the historical trend.

Hammad Akram, an analyst at Topline Research said car sales tend to rise month-on-month in January owing to the New Year phenomenon. The last time car sales declined in January was in 2006.

Excluding sales of Pak Suzuki Motor Company (PSMC), car sales increased 87 percent month-on-month last month. In mid-December last year, PSMC announced an increase in car prices, which were made effective from January this year 2020, resulting in pre-buying in December.

In January, sales of Indus Car and Honda Car increased 72% to 4,022 units and 120% to 2,210 units, respectively, over December 2019. Those have been the highest monthly sales recorded by Indus and Honda so far in the current fiscal year, Akram said.

“We believe car sales to have largely bottomed in December 2019, with major impetus likely to be seen from the start of FY2021,” he added.

Overall, car sales trend remained dismal for all three players in January compared to the same month a year earlier. Car sales by Pak Suzuki, Honda and Indus tumbled 53% to 5,555 units, 51% from 4,518 units and 36% from 6,249 units, respectively.

Akram said car sales dropped 45% to 78,806 units in the first seven months of the current fiscal year units owing to higher car prices and high-interest rates.

Honda witnessed the biggest sales drop, in terms of percentage points, with its volume standing at 10,356 units in July-January 2019-20 compared to 28,796 units in the comparable period a year ago, depicting a 64% decrease.

PMSC’s sales dipped 33% to 50,253 in the period under review. Sales of motorcycles and three-wheelers fell four % year-on-year in January. Their sales, however, rose 11% month-on-month. In the July-January period, sales of motorcycles and three-wheelers dived 11% to 740,043 units.

Motorcycle sales by Atlas Honda remained flat at 95,016 units. However, they were up 12% year-on-year.

Tractor sales recorded a 92% month-on-month increase in January, led by Al-Ghazi Tractors’ growth of 530%, while Millat Tractor’s sales also increased by 30%. In July-January, tractor sales were down 38% to 17,447 units, the brokerage said, citing statistics of Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association