Auto sector shows signs of recovery amidst YoY decline

By Staff Reporter | The Express Tribune Jun 13, 2023

Pakistan witnessed a glimmer of hope in the auto sector as automobile sales in May 2023 recorded a month-on-month recovery of 19%. However, it is crucial to note that this improvement comes with a staggering year-on-year decline of 77%. The Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) report revealed that approximately 5.3 thousand units were sold during this period.

The rebound in monthly sales can be attributed to the impressive performance of PSMC, which experienced a remarkable 101% increase, as reported by Muhammad Abrar of Arif Habib Limited. However, the YoY dip can be attributed to the adverse impact of rising inflation, which has significantly affected consumer affordability.

Furthermore, the automobile sector continues to face challenges due to unplanned plant shutdowns caused by import restrictions imposed by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), he said. Notably, HCAR’s production plant was shut down for half of May. Experts anticipate that automobile sales will remain under pressure throughout the current calendar year.

Including non-PAMA members, total car sales reached 6,200, indicating an 18% MoM increase, according to auto analyst Sunny Kumar from Topline Securities. However, apart from Pak Suzuki (PSMC), all other companies recorded a decline on a MoM basis due to the non-availability of Completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts.

These sales figures bring the total sales for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2023 to 120,158 units, reflecting a significant 52% YoY decrease. This decline can primarily be attributed to the non-availability of CKDs, surging car prices, expensive auto financing, and the low purchasing power of consumers.

PSMC experienced substantial growth of 101% MoM, selling 2,958 units in May 2023. This surge was driven by increased sales of Alto (132% increase), Swift (129% increase), and Cultus (59% increase).

The availability of CKD parts and a low base contributed to this notable upswing.

However, Honda Atlas Car (HCAR) suffered the highest decline of 58% MoM, with only 87 units sold. Hyundai also experienced a decline of 31% MoM with Tuscon sales down 38% and Elantra sales down 42% in May 2023.

Indus Motors (INDU) recorded a decline of 12% MoM, selling 1,718 units in May 2023 compared to 1,948 units in April 2023.

In the tractor segment, Millat Tractors (MTL) saw a 25% MoM increase, selling 1,505 units in May 2023. Al Ghazi Tractors (AGTL) maintained flat sales of 2,003 units. However, the tractor industry’s total sales for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2023 stood at 27,952 units, indicating a 46% YoY decline due to factors such as floods, plant shutdowns, lower consumer buying power, and higher prices.

Motorcycle sales in Pakistan showed an 18% MoM increase in May 2023. Atlas Honda (ATLH) reported sales of 87,000 units, representing a 19% MoM increase but a 24% YoY decline.

Truck and bus sales experienced a marginal 1% MoM increase but a significant 69% YoY decline, with 153 units sold in May 2023. The cumulative sales for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2023 reached 3,687 units, down 38% YoY. This decline can be primarily attributed to a drop in transportation activity and an overall economic slowdown, said Kumar.

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