An argument can be made that economic stability and consistency plays a huge role in terms of creating a nurturing environment for the any sort of business industry. And in our country, the past couple of years, including the Financial Year 2020 that closed less than a month ago, has been anything but stable or consistent.
In Pakistan, the recent ebb and flow of the economy is arguably most prominently reflected in the auto-sector. Now we all know that we don’t really have much choice when it comes to looking for a car, since there are only 3 major players in the Market, namely, Toyota, Honda and Suzuki, but even in this “monopolistic competition”, companies are suffering.
Most notably, Honda Atlas Cars has had a catastrophic year in terms of sales figures. The recent data released by Pakistan Automotive Manufacturer’s Association (PAMA) shows that the sales of both, Honda Civic and City have gone down significantly over the past couple of years. During the Financial Year (FY) 2018-19, Honda sold a total of 39,189 units all over Pakistan.
However, during FY 2019-20, the total number of both Honda City and Civic units sold across Pakistan was a lowly 14,091, which accounts for a decrease of 64% in sales figures as compared to FY 2018-2019.
This was of course due, in large part, to the COVID-19 outbreak, as all the showrooms and manufacturing plants were shutdown in April of 2020, during which, no car was sold or produced by any company.
Still, we’ve seen every automaker bump up the prices of their cars by a huge margin this year, citing reasons such as depreciation of the local currency, hence the increase of manufacturing cost. Here’s a brief snapshot of what went on with the pricing of the City and the Civic within a year:
|Cars||Prices During Mid 2019 (PKR)||1st Price Revision in Mid 2019 (PKR)||2nd Price Revision Later in 2019 (PKR)||1st Price Revision in 2020 (PKR)||2nd Price Reversion in 2020 (PKR)||Increase in price in a Year’s Time (PKR)|
|Civic 1.5 L Turbo RS||3,799,000||4,199,000||4,399,000||4,479,000||4,599,000||800,000|
|Civic 1.5 L Turbo Oriel||–||–||–||4,249,000||4,349,000||100,000|
|Civic 1.8 L VTI SR VT||3,399,000||3,824,000||3,799,000||3,824,000||3,899,000||500,000|
|Civic 1.8 L VTI CVT||3,199,000||3,599,000||3,499,000||3,549,000||3,649,000||400,000|
|City 1.3 L MT||1,919,000||2,179,000||2,309,000||2,329,000||2,389,000||470,000|
|City 1.3 L AT||2,059,000||2,319,000||2,489,000||2,509,000||2,574,000||515,000|
|City 1.5 L MT||1,979,000||2,239,000||2,369,000||2,389,000||2,459,000||480,000|
|City 1.5 L AT||2,119,000||2,379,000||2,539,000||2,559,000||2,629,000||510,000|
|City 1.5 L Aspire MT||2,134,000||2,395,000||2,539,000||2,559,000||2,629,000||495,000|
|City 1.5 L Aspire AT||2,274,000||2,554,000||2,699,000||2,719,000||2,789,000||515,000|
As you can see, the prices have been revised 4 times in just one year, with the increase in prices as compared to what they were just a year ago. Being incredibly high with no apparent improvement in terms of features or performance, the decrease in sales does not come as a surprise.
It is pertinent to mention that, although the Civic might be new, the City being sold in Pakistan is a 5th gen model, whereas the rest of the world, even India just saw the launch of the brand new 7th generation Honda City, which is priced roughly the same in other markets as the 2 generations old city that is still being sold in our Market.
The reason why the sales figures if these cars are so low may be because buyers have gotten bored of the same old car that’s been sold by Honda for over a decade now, the only thing that has changed has been its price. Which is a shame because, the new City, given that it is priced reasonably, would do quite well here in Pakistan, as there’s a huge market of compact family sedan buyers just waiting for something new and affordable.