Automobile sales in Pakistan recorded a steep growth of 198% in March 2021 compared to the same period of last year primarily due to a lockdown in March 2020.

In addition, the dispatches of vehicles having engine capacity of 1,000cc and below skyrocketed 437% on a year-on-year basis.

According to data released by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) on Tuesday, car companies sold 20,801 units in March 2021 against 6,986 units dispatched in March 2020.

“The triple-digit growth in sales volume can be attributable to a low base effect amid a countrywide lockdown imposed by the government in March last year, which restricted economic activity,” said Arif Habib Limited analyst Arsalan Hanif in a report.

Read: Car sales jump 35% in February 2021

“Moreover, rebound in the economy after the easing of lockdown and a drop in the policy rate aided the rise in car sales.”

On a month-on-month basis, auto sales surged 27% due to extra working days in March compared to February.

He added that sales of cars of 1,000cc and below engine capacity soared on the back of a massive surge in demand for Suzuki Alto.

A report of Topline Securities added that the month-on-month growth in vehicle sales would be 20% if Lucky Motor Corporation (KIA, non-member of PAMA) was included.

It said that Indus Motor Company recorded the highest increase of 53% in monthly sales in March at 6,695 because the company had witnessed supply issues in February.

“Sales growth of Indus Motor Company was primarily driven by Hilux sales, which were up 103% month-on-month,” the report said.

It was followed by Honda Atlas Cars with a 30% expansion in sales to 3,153 units in March 2021.

Pak Suzuki Motor Company recorded a month-on-month growth of 14% last month as its sales stood at 10,161 units.

“Among new entrants in the industry, Hyundai Nishat sold 723 units in March 2021 with the inclusion of Hyundai Elantra, while Lucky Motor Corporation sold 2,000 units as per our channel checks,” it stated.

Read more: Car sales rise 15% in December

Nine-month figures

Car sales in the first nine months (Jul-Mar) of the ongoing fiscal year registered a rise of 37%. Automobile sales during the nine-month period came in at 134,522 units against 98,425 units in the corresponding period of last year.

Indus Motor Company managed to outperform during the Jul-Mar period of fiscal year 2020-21 with a 69% growth in sales. The company sold 42,670 units in the nine-month period compared to 25,300 units in the same period of last year.

It was followed by Honda Atlas Cars with a 54% growth at 21,698 units.

Pak Suzuki Motor Company’s sales expanded 13% during the nine-month period as the company sold 66,013 cars compared to 58,303 units in the same period of last year.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2021.

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