There was a demand backlog from Jan-May
Pakistan sold over 300,000 bikes in July. This is the highest-ever number of bikes sold in a month in the country, says Association of Pakistan Motorcycle Assemblers Chairperson Muhammad Sabir Shaikh.
He said that there was a huge backlog of demand during 2020 as the sales were low in January and February and almost negligible in March, April and May.
“People started buying motorcycles in June. But when the demand increased significantly in July, we ran through motorcycles part importers and manufacturers and realised that sales were big in July,” Shaikh said.
Shaikh has half a dozen bike showrooms in Karachi and is a dealer of Yamaha and Suzuki bikes while he also sells several locally assembled Chinese bikes. He has a registered bike assembling company named ‘Sitara’ but it is inactive nowadays.
He added that his estimated number of bikes sold during July is a a conservative figure and it could be above 350,000 during the month.
Shaikh said that people in the agriculture sector, like farmers and vegetable and fruit sellers, had accumulated cash during the Covid-19 lockdown and came out in high numbers to buy motorcycles when markets properly opened.
The APMA number doesn’t corroborate with the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association’s figure of 148,500 bikes sold.
However, Shaikh said that there are only a dozen bike assemblers registered with PAMA. There are over 40 active bike assemblers in the country.
Senior research analyst at JS Global Capital, Ahmed Lakhani, said that the high number of bike sales in July is not incredible as there must be a high demand backlog of four months. Cars are getting expensive and the delivery business has been expanding.
Bike companies, which assemble bikes with parts imported from China, sell at a 50% lower price than Honda, a market leader in the motorcycle industry. Honda sold 94,000 bikes in July.
According to Lakhani, the demand for motorcycles has been increasing and due to low income, people are now buying locally assembled Chinese bikes more. For instance, a 70cc locally assembled Chinese bike is selling at around Rs53,000. Honda 70 is priced at Rs78,000. A bike with an engine capacity of 70cc is the best-selling variant in Pakistan.