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Rise in import of parts heralds brisk auto sales

Rise in import of parts heralds brisk auto sales

KARACHI: Sales of cars, bikes and heavy vehicles are likely to remain brisk in the July-September quarter against the backdrop of rising imports of parts and accessories by assemblers.

Assemblers imported completely knocked down (CKD) and semi-knocked down (SKD) kits worth $82.6 million in June 2015 compared to $66.2m in the same month of last year. Of these, parts and accessories imports worth $22.7m were of heavy vehicles, $49.7m of cars and $10m of bikes compared to $18m, $40m and $8.4m in June 2014.

Orders for Suzuki Bolan and Ravi for Punjab government’s taxi scheme, rising demand for Toyota Corolla and slight improvement in car sales through banks financing scheme after cut in interest rate have helped sales rise.

In all, import bill of CKD kits of locally produced heavy vehicles, cars and bikes rose by 41 per cent to $770.3m in FY15 from $546m in FY14, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

Separately, imports of CKD kits for buses, trucks and heavy vehicles increased by 61pc to $199m in FY15 from $123m in the preceding fiscal year; by 37pc to $481m from $311m for locally produced cars; and by 26pc to $90.4m from $72m for motorcycles.

On the contrary, Pakistan’s overall import bill of completely built-up (CBU) vehicles dropped to $406.7m in 2014-15 from $334m despite 44pc increase in car imports.

While arrivals of cars (over 90pc of them used) rose to $275m from $190m, imports of buses, trucks and heavy vehicles dropped to $130m from $139m, and that of bikes to $1.7m from $4.2m.

The rise in used-car imports, however, did not hurt sales of locally produced ones as they rose to 151,134 units in 2014-15 from 118,102 in the preceding fiscal year.

Falling imports of CBU buses, trucks and other heavy vehicles in 2014-15 gave much impetus to the sales of locally produced vehicles. Sales of Hinopak trucks jumped to 1,510 units in FY15 from 1,055, while sales of Nissan, Master and Isuzu grew to 852, 811 and 938 units from 378, 650 and 580, respectively.

Sales of locally produced trucks and buses jumped to 2,027 and 2,326 units from 1,249 and 1,579, according to data of the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA).

Sales of locally produced Honda bikes increased to 653,193 units in 2014-15 compared to 639,499 units in 2013-14.

Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2015

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