According to data from the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA), passenger car sales in Pakistan experienced a significant decline of 65 per cent in January 2023 compared to the same period the previous year. This was attributed to a shortage of raw materials, low purchasing power, and price surges.

With the exception of Suzuki’s Swift, sales of all other variants of cars, trucks, buses, tractors, pick-ups, and three-wheelers, as well as two-wheelers, also dropped in January 2023.

The seven-month sales data for FY23 showed a 43 per cent drop compared to the same period last year, with passenger car sales decreasing by 65 per cent to 6,021 units. In January 2023, engine-wise sales data showed that sales of 1,300cc and above cars were recorded at 4,207 units, down 55.5 per cent compared to the same period last year. Additionally, 1,000cc cars recorded sales of 1,214 units, a decrease of 55.2 per cent from the same period the previous year.

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In January 2023, sales of passenger cars with engines less than 1,000cc plummeted to 600 units, down 88 per cent from 4,820 units sold in the same period last year.

Sales of Suzuki’s new Alto were particularly hard hit, dropping to 44 units from 3,864 units last year, as the company was unable to produce any due to raw material shortages. Commercial vehicle sales were also impacted, with buses and trucks declining to 470 units from 778 units in January 2022.

Despite this, the sale of jeeps and pickups increased to 4,846 units from 3,625 units sold last year, largely due to an increase in sales of Honda BR-V and HR-V. Tractor sales, on the other hand, decreased to 3,406 units from 4,966 units in January 2022.

Meanwhile, sales of rickshaws and motorcycles dropped to 109,558 units from 153,658 units in the same period last year. According to Topline Securities, Pakistan’s overall car sales, including those of non-PAMA members, stood at around 11,500 units, down 37 per cent from the previous month, primarily due to Pak Suzuki’s inability to produce due to the non-availability of CKD parts.

In January 2023, the automotive industry in Pakistan experienced a 47 per cent year-on-year drop in sales, contributing to a 39 per cent decline in sales for the first seven months of FY23. According to Sunny Kumar, an analyst for Topline Securities, this is due to rising car prices, costly auto financing, and limited consumer purchasing power.

Pak Suzuki (PSMC) was hit particularly hard, with sales falling to 2,946 units, the lowest level since April 2020, largely due to a credit letters issue. In contrast, Hyundai sales increased 81 per cent month-on-month, with Tuscon sales up 69 per cent and Sonata sales up 241 per cent in January 2023. In the tractor sector, Millat Tractors and Al-Ghazi Tractors recorded increased sales in January 2023 compared to the previous month.

However, the industry’s overall sales have dropped by 53 per cent YoY to 14,919 units in 7MFY23, affected by floods, plant shutdowns, higher prices, and low consumer purchasing power.