In a historic first, not even a single car was sold in Pakistan during April 2020 as countrywide lockdowns due to the coronavirus continued to take a toll on the economy, and consequently, the automobile sector, SAMAA quoted analysts as saying.
According to data from Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association, the lockdowns resulted in the closure of plant operations along with car dealerships across the country. Car sales in the last 10 months ending April dropped by 52% compared to the same period of the preceding financial year, Topline Securities said in a report, adding that motorcycle sales were also affected.
“The auto industry sold 39 units in April, which only included trucks and buses,” Inter Market Securities (IMS) said in a separate report, noting there were no passenger car sales due to the lockdown that came into force on March 24.
Tractor sales were down 30% in April compared to the same month of 2019. “The decline in [tractor] sales was probably because of a partial lockdown, which was later eased for the tractor industry given its links to the agriculture sector amid harvesting season,” it said.
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“With the easing of lockdowns in the country effective May 11, we expect sales to resume for the last two weeks of May,” IMS said. It, however, added the sales are expected to pick up in the first half of 2021. This is because Indus Motor Company, the makers of Toyota in Pakistan, and Honda Car Pakistan Limited increased prices recently and Pak Suzuki Motor Company is likely to follow suit. But analysts at IMS also said the reduction of more than 4% in interest rates may help auto-financing pick up earlier than expected.
Similar situations have been reported across the globe as COVID-19 continues to affect global economy and spell misery for consumers.
According to BBC, the United Kingdom’s (UK) motor industry has been in suspended animation for weeks. Showrooms have been closed while vast factories, which normally produce hundreds of cars every day for sale here and abroad, have been standing idle.