LAHORE - Pakistan local car assemblers’ sales, including LCVs, Vans and Jeeps in Dec 2013 has dipped to 8,868 units showing a decline of 7.5 per cent on monthly basis. However, the sale reached at 61,252 units during 1HFY14, up 6.5 per cent compared to 57,540 units in corresponding period.

Experts have attributed the decline to year end phenomenon as buyer prefers to buy new year model car. On year on year basis, sales improved by 5.0 per cent compared to 8,448 units in Dec 2012.

Amongst individual companies, Pak Suzuki (PSMC) sales improved by 3.4 per cent  to 35,492 units in 1HFY14 vs. 34,324 units in the same half last year. Alone in Dec 2013, sales remained fairly stable at 5,981 units as against 5,989 units in Nov 2013.

Indus Motor (INDU) sales also improved by 3.3 per cent to 15,179 units in 1HFY14 compared to 14,699 units in 1HFY13. On monthly basis, INDU sales declined by 9.2 per cent to 1,982 units in Dec 2013 but are up 26 per cent YoY.

Honda Cars (HCAR) sales surged by 20.5 per cent YoY to 9,989 units in 1HFY14. During Dec 2013, sales of HCAR dropped to 655 units compared to 1,310 units in Nov 2013 and 864 units in Dec 2012.

PAAPAM Chairman, Usman Malik, pointed out that used car dealers are abusing the auto import policy, which is meant only for expatriate Pakistanis, by importing huge quantities of used vehicles through manipulation of documents of Pakistanis returning from abroad. He stated that auto industry has been continuously asking for investigation of misuse of import policy, and requested Chairman FBR to investigate all un-cleared used car stocks lying at Karachi port, as most of the used vehicles have been imported in Pakistan on forged documents. About 95 per cent of used cars are imported from Japan under personal baggage and transfer of residence scheme but these vehicles have cleared through documents of Pakistanis returning from Middle Eastern countries.

Usman Malik said that the FIA should also investigate unsold stocks at used car dealerships, verify their ownership details, scrutinize immigration database and the entry / exit stamps affixed on the passports.

All these malpractices are critically hurting the local auto parts manufacturers and their volumes/profit margins have been eroded by such illegal imports, while, on the other hand, used car dealers are reaping bumper profits from the abuse of import policy order.

Vice Chairman, Mr. Aslam Rayaz, said that, as per Import Policy Order 2012-15, minimum stay abroad for import of personal baggage shall be 180 days within the last seven months preceding the date of application and minimum stay abroad requirement for gifting a vehicle or importing under transfer of residence shall be at least 700 days during the past three years. A vehicle may be gifted only to a family member normally resident in Pakistan.