Auto sales grow in Dec for first time in 12 years

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KARACHI:  Pakistan’s auto sales recorded growth month-on-month in December 2018 for the first time in the last 12 years, according to the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA).

Car sales rose by 11% on a month-on-month basis. This is the first time since December 2005 that auto sales grew in December on a month-on-month basis, according to the latest data released by PAMA on Thursday.

On a year-on-year basis, the sales inched upwards by 1% to 19,423 units in December 2018 as opposed to 17% year-on-year decline in November 2018. This brings the sales number for the first half of financial year 2019 to 120,066 units, down 3% compared to the corresponding period of previous year. This also marks the first time in five years where sales declined during the first half of a fiscal year.

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Last time, this was experienced in the first half of FY13.

“Despite seemingly better outlook in December 2018, we continue to expect significant slowdown in automobile sales given the deteriorating state of the economy, law barring nonfilers of tax from purchasing cars and multiple price hikes in the past 12 months,” said Topline Securities Research Analyst Syed Daniyal Adil in his research report. The month-on-month expansion in sales remains a contradiction to the historical trend where sales fall in the month of December due to seasonal factors.

Company-wise data This enhancement is primarily due to higher sales of Pak Suzuki Motor Company, up 38% month-on-month. However, on the other hand year-on-year sales were up 2% from 11,448 units in December 2017 to 11,732 units in December 2018.

Also Read: 2018, a mixed year for the auto sector

Higher sales were led by 32% year-on-year and 13% year-onyear increase in Cultus and Ravi sales, respectively. Indus Motors recorded sufficient year-on-year growth of 16% owing to robust 84% and 10% year-on-year increase in Hilux and Corolla models, respectively. However, sales of Fortuner declined by 33%. Honda Atlas sales fell by 26% year-on-year from 3,213 units in December 2017 to 2,367 units in December 2018.

The fall in year-on-year sales for December 2018 was led by 50% lower BR-V sales and 19% lower sales of City and Civic variants on year-on-year basis. “Although we expect monthly sales to recover slightly in January, we continue to expect falling volumes year-on-year,’” said the Topline report.

(This news/article originally appeared in The Express Tribune on January 11th, 2019)

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