**By APD writer Muhammad Sohail **
ISLAMABAD, Feb. 28 (APD) - Pakistan’s imports of heavy bikes by the local assemblers have surged owing to strong demand from the provincial governments of the country, local media reported on Wednesday.
The governments of two provinces including Punjab and Sindh are procuring these bikes for their law enforcement agencies to improve the security situation.
Bike imports from July 2017 to January 2018 went up by 157 percent to 3.86 million U.S. dollars from 1.5 million U.S. dollars in the same period of last fiscal year.
Similarly, the total cost was $2.99m in 2016-17, $2.94m in 2015-16 and $1.74m in 2014-15, figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) stated.
Sources in the bike industry said heavy bikes of 250-600cc are being used by law enforcement forces, motorway and traffic police, highway authorities etc.
The majority of these new heavy bike sales of 250-650cc has been restricted to government’s security institutions while commercial sales have been nominal because of the high prices.
Market sources said a healthy number of Chinese heavy bikes have also been imported.
Chairman of Association of Pakistan Motorcycle Assemblers Mohammad Sabir Shaikh said some importers are bringing in 250-500cc bikes from China which are almost the same as branded Japanese bikes.
The trend is observed that Pakistani bike lovers are gradually switching over to heavy bikes.
He said 250-700cc used bikes are also being imported whose main buyers are young rich customers. Besides importing bikes, he also said some Chinese bike-makers are also importing completely knocked down kits for assembly of 150-250cc bikes in Pakistan.
Sales of locally produced bikes have already been thriving as evident from the rising import bill of semi and completely knocked down kits which rose to 60.5 million U.S. dollars in July-January 2017-2018 from 48.7 million U.S. dollars in the same period last year.
Honda sold over a record 100,000 bikes in January 2018 alone while its July 2017 to January 2018 sales swelled to 645,029 units from 544,769 units in same period last fiscal year.
(Cover photo is file image)
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY))