LAHORE - The PAMA has released its latest data for March 2018 where Pakistan’s locally assembled cars and LCVs sales volume recorded an impressive increase, jumping by 9 percent to 22,380 units. However, their off-take remained stagnant, dipping slightly by 1 percent. The YoY performance (+1,875 units) is largely driven by i) Honda Car’s sale numbers of Civic & City (+870 units YoY), and ii) HCAR’s thriving response off the new BR-V (+679 units YoY). Also, recent changes (though, reverted back) in import procedures have resulted in high off-take for the less than 1,000cc segment, as consumers continue to shift to PSMC.

During Mar 2018, HCAR volumes showed record growth of 41 percent YoY coupled with PSMC displaying a 4 percent YoY rise, while Indus Motors volumes depicted a fall of 2 percent YoY. Further, growth was also witnessed in LCV off-take, as they increased by 53 percent YoY in Mar’18 to 3,392 units against 2,210 units in Mar 2017 amid i) 42 percent YoY (+210 units YoY) increase in Hilux off-take, and ii) introduction of BR-V in the current period (+679 units YoY).

Tractor sales continue to perform well registering 7,633 units for the month, up by 15 percent YoY against 6,650 units in the SPLY. Main supports to the segment were offered by AGTL & MTL, which increased their sales volume by 23/10 percent YoY. Experts attributed this jump to implementation of reduced GST rates (5 percent from previous 10 percent). Furthermore, motorcycles & three-wheelers also witnessed a sharp increase of 29 percent YoY, and 21 percent MoM. Atlas Honda reported 29 percent YoY & 28 percent MoM upticks in off-take in Mar 2018.

Volumes for the auto industry are forecasted to post improving figures in the coming months on the back of i) introduction of new CKD & CBU models (Daehan Shehzore, JAC X200, Mega Carry, Hybrid Camry etc), ii) new engine options (Fortuner & Hilux), iii) recent facelifts (Corolla & Wagon-R), iv) availability of cheap auto financing (interest rates still very low even after the recent 25bps increase), v) an agriculture-friendly budget, vi) growing construction activities, and vii) heightened trade volumes on account of development under CPEC.