Pakistan’s automotive industry has yet to see any dividends from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government’s lofty claims of “stabilizing the country’s economy,” with data released on Tuesday showing a 44 percent decrease in sales year-on-year.
In its monthly report, the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association said 9,789 vehicles were sold in November 2019, compared to 17,442 in November 2018. A senior market analyst told daily Express Tribune that the dramatic decrease was largely owed to higher prices resulting from the Pakistani rupee’s devaluation and higher interest rates for financing.
The data examined the major automobile manufacturers of Pakistan, noting that all had suffered losses in the past year. Honda Atlas Cars, known for the ubiquitous City and Civic models, suffered a 62 percent drop in sales year-on-year, but showed a slight uptick of 4 percent from sales in October 2019. Similarly, the Indus Motor Company showed a 52 percent drop in sales—2,640 units—between 2018 and 2019. However, it too showed a slight 6 percent uptick from October. Finally, the Pak Suzuki Motor Company emerged the clear winner, with 5,846 units sold, but still faced a 31 percent year-on-year drop in sales.
The small upticks, per observers, are likely a result of end-of-year promotions, discounts and commercial bank waivers. However, they have said that the sales are hitting their baseline levels and there might be positive news for the sector in the coming year.
The reduced sales are having an impact on the automotive manufacturing sectors, with companies forced to suspend operations for several weeks to allow for excess inventory to be sold. The Millat Tractors Limited. on Tuesday said the company would halt production from Dec. 11 till Jan. 3, 2020, according to daily Dawn. Honda Atlas Cars Limited also said they would only work eight days in December.