Pakistan registers 98% growth in March car sales. But numbers may still shock
- While the entire Pakistani passenger vehicle industry saw just 3,642 units being sold in February, sales rebounded to 7,201 units in March.
While the Indian automotive industry is breaking new records repeatedly post Covid years, its counterpart across the western border has never had it this tough. Pakistan automobile industry has been struggling on multiple fronts but March car sales figures provided some relief with a growth of 98 per cent over a really low sales base in February.
While the entire Pakistani passenger vehicle industry saw just 3,642 units being sold in February, sales rebounded to 7,201 units in March. The month, in fact, was the first in quite a while when sales figures climbed instead of free-falling. And although still low - even by Pakistan auto market standards where 22,799 units were sold in March of 2022, it could potentially be the start of a turnaround.
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A turnaround may not be easy. High car prices continue to pose a mammoth challenge in Pakistan, a country where the economy has been in tatters and inflation levels have been soaring. A Geo TV report points to factors such as fear of a slowdown and the decision of State Bank of Pakistan to curb imports as major stumbling blocks. The overall auto industry sales - trucks, buses, two-wheelers and the likes - continued to slide in March.
Among manufacturers that are faring better, in comparative terms, are Pak Suzuki Motors and Indus Motors. Pak Suzuki, in particular, sold 2,542 units of Alto which is still significantly lower than the 9,814 units sold in the same month of 2022. In fact, sales of vehicles below 1,000cc remained the major chunk of sales even though the March performance was a pale shadow of figures from the same month a year ago.