The Latest PAMA Report

Car Sales Decline in February 2019, Says PAMA  

The Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) has released its latest statistics for the month of February 2019, and they don’t look good.

According to it, the sales of locally manufactured cars fell by 13% in February 2019. This is largely being attributed to fewer working days in the month of February and decline in the sales of Suzuki Mehran and Bolan. It is worth reminding our readers that Mehran and Bolan form a significant chunk of car sales in Pakistan and when their sales go down, it affects the entire sales statistics of cars.

In January 2019, a total of 19,353 units of passenger cars were sold, while in February 2019, only 17,071 units were sold. The units of passenger cars sold in February 2018 was 19,027, while the same sold in February 2019 was 17,071.

Indus Motors, however, posted positive sales statistics as their sales grew 8% from February 2018 to February 2019. In February 2018, they had sold 5,108 units, while in February 2019, the sold 5,529 units. In February 2018, 184 units of Fortuner were sold, while 332 units of the same were sold in February 2019. Hence Fortuner recorded an 80% increase in sales in year-on-year comparison. Hilux sales however declined by 72%, the highest decline in 19 months.

Meanwhile Toyota’s other two competitors, Suzuki and Honda continue to fare badly. Suzuki posted a 17% decline in sales in February 2019, while Honda was the worst hit with a 27% decrease in sales. This is Honda’s worst year-on-year decline since April 2012. City and Civic were both worst affected as their sales declined by 24%.

Civic, which is of 1,799cc engine displacement is likely to get hit further. The government has recently levied 10% FED on locally manufactured cars of 1700cc and up engine capacity. This will increase the price of Honda Civic further, hence affecting its sales in future.

While the decline in passenger car sales for the month of February 2019  is largely being attributed to fewer working days and Suzuki Mehran and Bolan, broadly speaking there are other reasons too. The main reason, however, remains Pakistani rupees depreciation against the US dollar, increasing petrol and diesel prices and higher interest rates. And since these factors are likely to remain in the foreseeable future, car sales would, therefore, remain on the downside in the coming times too. Though the government has lifted the ban on non-filers from purchasing locally manufactured cars of all engine capacities.

It would be interesting to see whether the lifting of the ban on non-filers will offset rising car prices in the market.

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