2019 saw the government introduce a number of limitations in the vehicle import policy, due to which, the car importing business suffered quite a bit. And as per a recent report shared by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the car imports during the first three months of the financial year (FY) 2020-21 reduced by 24.66% compared to the same period of the last financial year.
The report further states that the passenger car imports went down from $175,143 in the first three months of FY 2019-20 to $124,788 during the same period of FY 2020-21. As for heavy commercial vehicles, the report added that the imports went down from $67,525 in the first three months of FY 2019-20 to $45,231 during the same period of FY 2020-21, amounting to a decrease of 29.25%.
Motorcycle imports went down from $18,754 in the first three months of FY 2019-20 to $10,758 during the same period of FY 2020-21, amounting to a decrease of 39.41%. As for parts and accessories, the report added that the imports went down from $91,288 in the first three months of FY 2019-20 to $61,650 during the same period of FY 2020-21, amounting to a decrease of 28.64%.
As per an article shared by Dawn News, it was revealed that the imports of used cars and SUVs were reportedly the highest ever at approximately 80,000 vehicles in FY 2017-18. Whereas after the introduction of various limitations, the imports went down to around 16,000 units during the Financial Year (FY) 2019-20, which amounts to an 80% decrease in the number of vehicles imported.
The Pakistan Automotive Dealers Association (PADA) is reportedly livid because of the changes in the vehicle import policy, as it has severely hurt the business of various imported vehicle dealerships. Chairman PADA, H.M. Shahzad has been very vocal about the said policy changes and has reportedly reached out to the government multiple times to try to address the issue.
With the vehicle imports curbed, the only benefit has been in terms of keeping the money within the borders of Pakistan. But at the same time, many believe that it allows the local automakers to continue with their complacency in terms of making the same old cars with obsolete tech and safety standards. Whether or not there is any improvement on that front remains to be seen.
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