Karachi, October 25, 2023 (PAKONOMY): In an announcement that has stirred excitement among car enthusiasts and prospective buyers, Indus Motor Company (IMC), the prominent assembler of Toyota vehicles in Pakistan, unveiled a groundbreaking move. Effective October 24, IMC has taken the extraordinary step of reducing car prices by up to 8.3 percent, translating into a substantial saving of Rs1.31 million for customers. This generous gesture is a response to the recent appreciation of the Pakistani Rupee against the US Dollar, and it signifies IMC’s commitment to its valued customers.
The price adjustments extend to a diverse range of Toyota models, including popular choices like Yaris, Corolla, Revo, and Fortuner. This strategic decision by IMC follows the trailblazing footsteps of MG Motors and Lucky Motor Corporation, both of which recently embarked on a similar journey to lower vehicle prices, creating a promising industry trend.
Let’s delve into the specifics of these significant price reductions across various models:
Yaris: The base model, 1.3MT LO, now bears a more affordable price tag, boasting a 2.2 percent price reduction, with the new cost set at Rs4.399 million. Meanwhile, the top-tier variant, the 1.5 CVT Aero, presents a substantial Rs120,000 price cut and is now available for Rs5.849 million.
Toyota Corolla: Prices for various Corolla variants have experienced reductions ranging from Rs200,000 to Rs250,000, enhancing their appeal to potential buyers.
Revo: Toyota’s rugged pick-up truck, the Revo, has become more budget-friendly with price cuts ranging from Rs450,000 to Rs790,000.
Fortuner: The premium Fortuner range, including the Legender and GRS models, now proudly boasts prices below the Rs20 million threshold after experiencing reductions of Rs1.13 million and Rs1.19 million, respectively.
The standout price cut is observed in the Fortuner G4x2 Petrol STD, which now stands at an attractive Rs14.499 million, after a substantial reduction of Rs1.31 million, marking an impressive 8.3 percent decrease.
This commendable reduction in prices can be attributed to the robust strengthening of the Pakistani Rupee, which has appreciated by over 10 percent against the US Dollar, following its record low of 307.1 on September 5. This significant surge comes on the heels of measures taken by the caretaker government to clamp down on currency smuggling and hoarding, subsequently stabilizing the national currency.
The automotive sector in Pakistan has navigated substantial challenges over the past year, primarily driven by government-imposed restrictions on imports, aimed at curbing the outflow of foreign currency. These measures led to a marked decline in both demand and production, compelling several automakers to scale back production and temporarily shutter their facilities.
The recent upswing in the Rupee’s value has come as a much-needed relief to the beleaguered auto industry, which relies heavily on the import of parts and raw materials. These industries have grappled with soaring costs and diminished demand.
The Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) data underscores the difficulties facing the sector in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2023/24. High prices, expensive financing, and weakened consumer demand have collectively contributed to a significant dip in auto sales. Car sales have registered a 44 percent decline, dropping from 28,571 units to 16,021 units compared to the previous year. Similarly, sales of jeeps, SUVs, and pickups have seen a 23 percent reduction, decreasing from 6,431 units to 4,962 units.
This downturn has affected all segments of the industry, with one notable exception – tractors. Tractor sales have surged remarkably, experiencing a 64 percent increase, rising from 7,368 units to 12,090 units. This upturn signifies a revival in the agricultural sector.
Despite these formidable challenges, there’s a silver lining. A month-on-month recovery was observed in August and September, attributed to the resolution of certain issues related to the import of completely knocked down (CKD) kits, prompting automakers to intensify production efforts and meet pent-up demand.