The automobile sales in the future will most likely be dominated by crossover vehicles. One of the two biggest markets in the world, namely China and the US, both owe their automobile sales growth to crossovers today; crossover SUVs mostly. And when most of the car companies are pushing to develop a single car that they can sell globally to save costs, it escapes all reason not to build one to cater the developing markets that include ASEAN countries, India and Pakistan. Though Pakistan isn’t a big prospect but State Bank of Pakistan’s report said that the country has similar socioeconomic conditions, but we’ve been kept away from crossovers still whereas Maruti Suzuki introduced separate showrooms with premium feeling for the new S-Cross Crossover.
This new showroom gives a ‘white glove treatment’ to the car buying experience. Even the sales staff was hired from the hotel, airline and financial services industries for the new dealership. The sales force, specialized in hospitality and sound advice then walks the customer through the entire prospects of buying and keeping the vehicle.
The closest we have come to knowing a crossover vehicle is through imported cars. The Honda Vezel has been the most popular crossover SUV. Then there’s Nissan Juke, Toyota Harrier, Prius V, FAW Sirius S80 and so many more but none of them were brought in by the companies. It’s as if they are unable to forecast market trends and demands.
Honda Atlas it seems is dictated by the importers who imported the Vezel, and it felt like that Honda Atlas were surprised to see that Honda made that vehicle and called up the bosses in Japan who promptly gave them the HR-V to pitch it over here. Can there be a case of Honda being dumb in Pakistan? Because it sure looks like it and they are late to the party as the crowd seems to have left with the Vezel already just like it happened with the CR-Z.
Read about the difference between Vezel and HR-V.
Honda has some great vehicles to offer that can lead the market demand, and they should be the smarter ones to know what the market desires and not simply wait to see what the importers lead Honda within the market, and that too with a Honda! It’s embarrassing. Yes, the company can sell few by setting up targets for the dealerships to sell ‘X’ amount or face the consequences as Suzuki did with the Kizashi (that was sold to the ‘kareebi rishtaydaars’ (close relatives) by the dealership owners.
Allow us the opportunity to present to you another crossover that is a cross between a station wagon and an SUV to be an MPV. A Multi-Purpose Vehicle. Honda BR-V.
Let’s begin with the price. It is available on sale in Indonesia from 226.5 million that translates to INR 1,093,000 and 1,699,311 PKR, to IDR 261.5 million Indonesian Rupee that translates to INR 1,263,000 and 1,963,614 PKR. For comparison, the Honda Civic 1.8l Automatic is for 395,000,000 Indonesian Ruppiyah that converts to 2,969,000 PKR but the Civic there is also well equipped compared to here.
Coming back to the Honda BR-V, it is similar in size to Toyota Avanza and FAW Sirius while it is powered by a 1.5l engine that produces 120 PS and 145 Nm of torque and comes with either a 6-Speed manual or a CVT transmission. The features that the top end version worth 261 million Indonesian Ruppiyah, it will have projector headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, front and rear skid plates, roof rails, steering mounted audio controls, touchscreen music system, automatic climate control, roof-mounted rear AC vents and standard safety features.
While this is in no way the perfect suggestion since Fit/Jazz Hybrid can be a much better prospect for Pakistan as they’ll get the discount from Hybrid incentives plus a great mileage in an already great car fit for city and highway use, but this was, in fact, was an effort to urge Honda Atlas to start behaving like a proper company that’s moved to defining the future of transportation in Pakistan rather be defined by the importers in Pakistan for what to bring next.