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Car sales hit a three-year high of 23,000 units in March - Inside Financial Markets

Car sales hit a three-year high of 23,000 units in March

– The News

Car sales hit a three-year high of 23,000 in March as an influx of new variants alongside lower auto financing rates continued to revive consumer demand, industry data showed on Tuesday.

Car sales increased 27 percent to 20,801 in March compared with February, according Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association’s (PAMA) data. However, PAMA numbers didn’t include sales of Kia brand.

Lucky Motors Corporation (known for KIA) and non-member of PAMA sold around 2,000 units and recorded around 20 percent month-on-month increase with 9MFY21 sales growth estimated at around 46 percent, said Qazi Hadi, an analyst at Topline Securities. With all, car sales in March were highest since October 2018.

Car sales were shown almost two times increase compared to March 2020. However, annual sales growth is misleading because of lockdowns in March last year, said Hadi.

Cumulative sales in the nine months of the July-March period increased 37 percent to 134,522 units as 98,425 cars were sold during the same period last year.

New entrant Hyundai Nishat, which is PAMA’s member, sold 723 units in March with the inclusion of Hyundai Elantra.

Indus Motor Company sales increased the most by 53 percent in March over February as the company had witnessed supply issues in February.

Sales growth was primarily driven by Hilux sales, which were up by 103 percent.

In March, 1,300cc and above car sales showed an increase by 141 percent to 8,447 units as compared to 3,498 units sold during the same month in the previous year.

Toyota Yaris sold 3,317 units. Besides, 46 units of Hyundai Elantra have been included in it.

Indus Motor’s popular Toyota Corolla, which had shown a decline in sales after discontinuation of 1,300cc XLI and GLI cars, witnessed some increase to 2,126 units from 2,089 units sold last year, that too because of last year’s low volumes in March amid Covid lockdown.

Sales of Honda Civic and City were up by 96 percent to 2,603 cars from 1,327 units. Suzuki Swift saw an increase by more than three times in its sales to 355 cars from 82 cars sold last year.

In March, Suzuki Cultus and Suzuki WagonR – under 1,000cc category – witnessed an increase in sales to 2,896 units against 1,020 units in the corresponding period.

Under 800cc, sales rose by more than four times to 5,762 units in March against 1,278 units during the corresponding month in 2020. Suzuki Alto’s sale increased to 4,745 units from 884 units sold during the same month last year.

Buses and trucks saw a surge in sales to 575 units in March from 342 units during the same month last year. The major reason for the increase in the sales was a sale of 325 units of Isuzu trucks to the armed forces of Pakistan.

Sale of jeeps also increased by manifolds to 1,671 units from 395 units sold during the same month last year.

The main reason was an increase of above three times in the sales of Toyota Fortuner to 508 units from 158 units and sales of 613 units of Hyundai Tucson. Pick-up sales increased to 2,037 units from 811 units in March 2020. Sales of tractors almost doubles to 5,531 units in March from 2,925 units during the corresponding period of 2020. Rickshaws and motor bikes’ sale rose by 70 percent to 170,350 units in March from 100,413 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.

Syed Zaki Hussain

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