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Chinese bike assemblers shifting to Punjab from Karachi

Chinese bike assemblers shifting to Punjab from Karachi

KARACHI: Three assemblers of Chinese bike have moved to Punjab from Karachi while another two have expanded their production facilities to the bigger province in the past one year.

“Low land prices and better security in Punjab’s industrial areas as compared to Sindh has lured assemblers,” said Association of Pakistan Motorcycle Assemblers (Apma) Chairman Mohammad Sabir Shaikh while talking to Dawn on Monday.

He said only 10 Chinese bike makers in Sindh are enjoying production and sales with good volumes while around 40 assemblers are struggling for their survival owing to low volumes and profits.

“By shifting or expanding in Punjab, the assemblers will at least save transportation charges, which are considered quite high keeping in view low prices of Chinese bikes,” he added.

In Punjab, bike sales are brisk as compared to Sindh.

Out of the 101 Chinese units, some 50 had closed down in the last two and a half years due to tough competition among them.

Two years ago Chinese bike assemblers raised prices to Rs44,000-46,000 from Rs38,000-40,000 due to rising cost of production.

Sabir said the industry was working on the same high taxes and duties when $1 was equal to Rs60 as compared to current rate of Rs104.

Most of the struggling Chinese bike assemblers are waiting for the new auto policy.

“In case the policy comes in favour of bike assemblers, sales of many ailing units will revive. Otherwise unfavourable policy will result in closure of units,” Sabir said.

The maker of Habib bike revealed zero production and sales in the first quarter of FY16 compared to nil production and 350 units a year ago. Habib’s sales fell to 350 units in FY15 compared to 16,971 in FY14.

The assembler of Ravi bikes did not share August and September production and sales data with the Pakistan Automotive Manufac­turers Association (Pama).

The company produced and sold 6,145 units each in July-September 2014-15. Ravi sales grew to 23,794 units in 2014-15 as compared to 22,425 in 2013-14.

Hero bike sales faced a sharp fall to 1,083 units in July-September 2015-16 from 3,015 units in same period last fiscal year. The bike sales dropped to 8,607 units in 2014-15 from 11,525 in 2013-14.

Sohrab bike sales fell to 686 units in July-September 2015 from 1,061 units in same period 2014. In 2014-15, Sohrab bike sales rose to 5,776 units from 4,817 in 2013-14.

Vice President All Pakistan Motorcycle Dealers Association Naseem Anwar said improved law and order situation in Karachi has proved helpful for Atlas Honda Limited (AHL), increasing its sales to 1,800-2,000 units per month from below 1,000 units three to four months back.

He said a price cut of Rs6,500 made by AHL on Honda CD-70cc had boosted up its sales to 188,751 units in July-September 2015-16 as compared to 141,134 units in the same period of 2014-15. Honda bike sales in 2014-15 improved to 653,193 units in 2014-15 as compared to 639,499 units in 2013-14.

Another Japanese player Yamaha, whose bikes were selling on premium a few months ago after the launch of its new model, has been showing a decline in sales from July 2015 onwards.

Yamaha bike sales, which were 1,845 units in July 2015, plunged to 1,605 in August and further to 1,385 in September 2015.

Pak Suzuki Motor Company Limited (PSMCL) too was recording lower sales. The company sold 4,263 units in the first quarter of this fiscal year compared to 5,914 units in the same period of 2014-15. Pak Suzuki sales had also declined in 2014-15 to 22,703 units as compared to 24,356 units in 2013-14.

DYL Motorcycles, which had been facing falling sales since 2010-11, recovered with sales of 2,103 units in July-September 2015-16 as compared to 1,643 units in the corresponding period last fiscal year. In 2014-15 the company sold 7,172 units as compared to 12,138 units in 2013-14.

Published in Dawn, October 20th , 2015

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