Hyderabad’s motorcycle industry seeks govt aid

In Business
March 31, 2024



KARACHI:

Hyderabad industrialists are calling on the government to establish a policy and introduce a motorbike financing scheme, stressing the importance of safeguarding the assembling plants of Chinese petrolversion motorbikes to prevent the collapse of this struggling industry, which could lead to increased unemployment.

Speaking to The Express Tribune they mentioned that there are a total of nine fullyfledged assembling plants, with four located in Hyderabad, two in Karachi, three in Lahore, and one in Sialkot. “Back in 2002, there was a significant surge in Chinese motorcycle production, with approximately 135 assembling units established nationwide,” stated Auto Sector Analyst Mohammad Sabir Shaikh.“These units were officially producing 900,000 motorbikes annually, alongside an informal production of 2.5 million.

Additionally, there were over 1 million motorcycles from Japanese brands like Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki. We were even exporting bikes to Afghanistan and several African countries.” He highlighted the industry’s challenges, citing consecutive setbacks in 2009, 2016, and 2020-2021, the latter occurring shortly after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Hyderabad was once the thriving hub of the Chinese motorbike assembling industry from 2000 to 2010. Now it is struggling to survive,” explained Hyderabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry (HCSTSI) President Muhammad Farooq Shaikhani. “During this period, around nine modern motorbike-cum-rickshaw units operated, attracting hundreds of thousands of former glass bangle workers to transition into this industry.”

He highlighted that the industry began shuttering plants not only in Hyderabad but also across the country due to insufficient support and proper government policies. Factors contributing to this downturn include escalating business costs, rising raw material expenses, soaring utility bills, a 22% interest rate, currency depreciation against the US dollar, and political and economic instability.

Stressing the need for sustainable growth in the local industry to strengthen the national economy, he also pointed out that bike dealers, who often provided bikes on credit, were unable to fulfil their payment obligations to assemblers on time, exacerbating the situation. CEO of Memon Motors, Mohammad Saleem Memon, shared that their company introduced auto rickshaws under the Super Star brand in 1992 and ventured into the motorbike industry in 2001-2002, when a 70-CC motorbike cost Rs32,000.

Currently, it sells for Rs103,000, operating within a market with a slim profit margin. He mentioned that four renowned brands of Hyderabad motorbikes—Super Star, Unique, Hi-Speed, and Express—are struggling to maintain viability, producing around 8,000 to 10,000 units per month. This is a significant decline from the peak production period when they assembled over 40,000 units monthly

Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.