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Passenger Car Sales Show a Striking 118% Jump in February

Passenger Car Sales

KARACHI: Pakistan’s automotive sector experienced a notable divergence in sales trends during February, marked by a substantial year-on-year surge in passenger car sales despite a significant overall decline in fiscal year-to-date sales, on Wednesday.

Data from the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) reveals a remarkable 118% year-on-year increase in car sales to 7,953 vehicles in February 2024, compared to 3,642 units in the same month of the previous year.

However, this surge contrasts with a broader 41% decline in sales over the first eight months of the fiscal year, with only 46,417 units sold compared to 78,575 units during the same period in the previous fiscal year.

In February 2024, there was a 2% month-on-month increase, with 7,802 units sold in January 2024. Notably, sales of 1300cc and above cars reached 3,941 units in February, reflecting a 39% increase from the same month last year.

For 1,000cc cars, February 2024 recorded sales of 456 units (320 units of Suzuki Cultus and 136 units of Suzuki Wagon R), a substantial rise from 165 units in the same month of the previous year.

Vehicles below 1,000cc saw sales of 3,556 units, marking a 4.6-fold increase compared to 635 units last year. Suzuki Alto sales surged to 3,373 units in February 2024 on a year-on-year basis, compared with 544 units in the corresponding month of the previous year.

Contrastingly, sales of buses and trucks declined to 353 units from 657 units in the same month last year. Jeeps and pick-ups also saw a decrease to 1,756 units from 2,544 units sold during the same period last year, while tractor sales slightly increased from 3,330 to 3,366 units.

Rickshaws and motorbikes witnessed a decrease, with 93,764 units sold in February compared with 103,003 units in the same period last year.

Mashood Ali Khan, former chairman of the Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM), attributed the decline in vehicle sales, including buses and trucks, to the lack of industry activity. He emphasized the need for a revised industry policy to address challenges such as high prices and sales tax affecting car purchases.

According to brokerage Topline Securities, car sales, including non-PAMA members’ sales, totaled around 10,900 in February 2024, reflecting a 7% month-on-month decrease but a significant 52% year-on-year increase.

Sales by Indus Motors decreased by 26% month-on-month due to the high base effect of the previous month and the launch of the new Corolla Cross.

Factors such as rising car prices, expensive auto financing, and reduced consumer purchasing power were cited by Topline Securities as contributing to the decline in overall sales.

As the automotive industry grapples with challenges, stakeholders emphasize the need for policy reforms to stimulate sales, reduce prices, and enhance the industry’s competitiveness, ultimately benefiting consumers and the country’s economy.

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