KARACHI: Unfavourable economic conditions and mounting inflation coupled with unavailability of affordable cars restrained Pakistanis from buying new cars during the year 2013.
Overall situation of all business sectors in the country remained middling in the calendar year 2013 (CY13), thus the auto sector which was still dominated by three Japanese auto assemblers in CY13 failed to register any noteworthy performance in terms of sales and offering new variants. Honda Atlas Cars (HCAR), Indus Motor Company (IMC) and Pakistan Suzuki Motor Company (PSMC) jointly managed to sell 125,204 units of different models of their old models and some new variants in the Jeeps segment.
By this performance, calculations suggest that the three local auto assemblers witnessed 22 percent yearly decline in their sales as compared to 160,491 units sold in CY12. It shows that the instead of recording growth the auto assemblers failed to satisfy the car lovers in 2013 despite the fact that imported used Japanese cars' numbers were decreased enormously due to three years age restriction limit imposed by the government in December 2012.
In keeping view of the poor performance of the local auto sector in 2013 it could be said that the car users in Pakistan have rejected the local-assembled cars. The main reason behind this reluctance of users towards local ones could be a notable difference in quality and performance between local and imported ones. Public has enjoyed the drive of imported used cars which made them choosy, so, car lovers in the country after being familiar with imported cars excellence, now seemingly are not as much ready like before to accept below average local cars at huge prices.
According to the company-wise break-up that was obtained from Pakistan Automotive Manufacturing Association's (PAMA) latest data, the IMC was the company, which witnessed higher decline as compared to its other two peers as the sales figures showed that IMC sold 41 percent lesser units in CY13. IMC facing hardships to stable the popularity of its famous brand Corolla managed to sell 25,495 units in CY13. Because of these average sales figures, IMC registered 41 percent yearly decline when compared to 43,405 units sold in CY12.
There is no doubt about it that Corolla is the dominant player of Pakistani roads since the last few years, but now, analysing the statistics, it seems that this internationally acclaimed model has been tarnishing its charisma among users as the other elegant imported brands of Toyota have been forayed in Pakistan for the last couple of years. Significant 50 percent decline in the Corolla sales registered in CY13 to 19,349 units as against 38,616 units sold in CY12.
Similarly, Toyota Hilux also could not contribute a remarkable share to the company's sales during CY13 as the sales of this variant was restricted to 4,160 units in the year under review while it was 4,450 last year.
HCAR, after witnessing some distressing years in terms of sales, has rebounded in CY13 as the company outshined his other two fellows and managed to sell 22,931 units with only two variants of Civic and City. This sales data translated into a 69 percent yearly increase for the company when compared to the sales figures of 13,551 units in CY12.
HCAR managed to sell 10,478 units of Honda Civic, which shows that the company has succeeded to win the confidence of car lovers in the CY13 as the Civic sales stood at only 6,032 units in CY12. Similarly, Honda City remained a profit-making product for the makers as the company registered 66 percent more sales of this variant to 12,453 units sold in CY13 as compared to 7,519 units sold in CY12.
PSMC kept its market leader position as the company offered more varieties than other local assemblers, but the company failed to sell as much units in CY13. The company sold 76,778 units, registering 15 percent yearly decline as compared to 89,984 units sold in CY12.
PSMC sold 141 units of Liana, 5,387 units of Swift, 14,370 units of Cultus, 31,305 units of Mehran, 13,894 units of Bolan and 11,681 units of Ravi in the complete year of 2013. While the company sold 361 units of Liana, 6,916 units of Swift, 16,582 units of Cultus, 32,920 units of Mehran, 19,257 units of Bolan and 13,948 units of Ravi in the corresponding year of CY13.
In keeping view of the above-mentioned performance of the local auto assemblers it might be possible that the government will prefer the consumers' interest in upcoming Auto Industry Development Policy by allowing commercial import of used cars so that local car lovers can enjoy more variants of cars at reasonable prices.
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