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October 11, 2018

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Quarterly auto sales dismal as buying curbs on non-filers weigh

KARACHI: Auto sales increased merely 1.14 percent to 51,221 units in the quarter ended September 30, 2018, against 50,640 units sold in the same period last year, as poor indicators and purchasing curb on non-filers dragged total volumes down.

With the exception of passenger cars of 1000cc and above, all variants of cars, jeeps, tractors, pick-ups, trucks as well as motorcycles and three wheelers saw a decline in volumes during this period, as per Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) data released on Wednesday.

A total of 26,650 cars of 1300cc or above category were sold in the quarter, up 9.5 percent against 24,343 units sold during the same period last year.

Under the 1000cc category, a total of 12,718 units of Suzuki Cultus and Suzuki WagonR were sold in the quarter, up 16 percent against 10,970 units sold last year, PAMA data revealed.

An analyst said the increase in 1000cc cars was huge, as both WagonR and new variant of Cultus saw amazing success in the country during this period.

“People like the new arrivals,” he said. “WagonR saw this increase, as it was mainly used in ride hailing services.”

Analyst Syed Daniyal Adil at Topline Securities said, “We continue to expect significant demand contraction in auto sector due to deteriorating macroeconomic environment, multiple prices hikes since December 2017, and impact of law requiring car purchasers to be tax filers.”

Pointing to the expected rise in prices, he said, “Automobile prices are expected to rise further due to sharp rupee depreciation (eight percent) witnessed (on Tuesday). This further solidifies our stance on volumetric decline within auto sector as consumers’ affordability comes into question.”

Sales of 800cc and below 1000cc cars, Suzuki Mehran and Bolan, however, dropped 22.6 percent to 11,853 units from 15,327 units last year.

A total of 2,005 buses and trucks were sold in July-September, down 18 percent against 2,446 units sold during the corresponding period last year.

Farm tractors also saw a decline of 15 percent in sales to 13,731 units during this time, compared to 15,710 units during the same period last year.

A total of 1,899 jeeps were sold during the quarter under review, down 33.7 percent against 2,863 units sold during the same period last year. Sale of pick-ups dropped to 5,231 units against 6,966 units sold during the same period last year.

A total of 454,607 motorcycles and three wheelers were sold during July-September FY19. The number is lower by 3.2 percent compared to 469,532 units sold during the same period in FY18, PAMA data showed.

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