All That FAW Can Offer: A Pakistani Auto Consumer’s Expectations From FAW

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Pakistani automobile market lacks variety, as mentioned earlier. Prior to the local assembling of automobiles, our market was filled with several available options from different manufacturers. However, today the car buying options are less than a handful. During the last two decades, different manufacturers tried to tap into the market but were unable to continue due to various reasons. This does show, however, that whenever there was an opportunity, the Pakistani buyer has shown interest in brands other than just the ‘Big 3’ of our market.

During the early 1990s, there were several cars imported via the Yellow Cab Scheme, later most of the cars were repainted and were used privately. Daewoo Racer & Hyundai Excel were among the popular sedans that were widely appreciated by the public. Towards the late 90s Kia Pride was brought here, and people did show interest in it, but the company soon wrapped up its operations and went away. In early 2000 Dewan Motors introduced Kia & Hyundai vehicles here, the cars become quite popular but within eight years Dewan stopped production of its cars and thus the available options were gone. Proton, the Malaysian automaker also stepped in and tried offering the mix of outdated & updated models but had to leave in a few years. Adam initiated with the Revo and then it was forced to close down as well. In addition to the Nissan Sunny & Mitsubishi Lancer, and the reconditioned cars that flooded our market in the previous decade, little flavor was offered by the Chinese manufacturers as well.

Chinese cars, the least impressive of the available options in the market still managed to attract quite a few buyers. The products compared to the available competition were inferior, chiefly because of the quality that was offered but, to be honest, the lineup itself was a bit lousy. The Changan carriers, Gonow Victor, Chery QQ & Geely CK sedan, were brought here but considering the kind of Chinese cars that the world gets today, we received the totally opposite. Recently however FAW has offered a few cars, the XPV, Sirius & V2 hatchback in our market. Having someone with a keen interest in Chinese cars, I must say apart from the Sirius, the lineup is visually least appealing. But then again, it’s not the best that FAW has to offer us. Like other Chinese auto manufacturers, they have some stunning vehicles to offer, and they are doing quite well in other parts of the world, somehow the ones which come to our market are not the same offered elsewhere.

Faw-group-logo-1024x768

Unlike Chery & Geely which are the private Chinese car makers and their lineup is mostly based on reverse engineered clone-cars, FAW (First Automobile Works) is a state-owned Chinese auto giant and ranks among the top 4 Chinese auto manufacturers with an annual production of around 2.7 million units, the figure by any means is quite impressive. For us what’s good about FAW is that unlike the previous Chinese companies that brought clone-cars here, FAW actually has licensed products. It has joint ventures with world’s leading auto manufacturers including Audi, GM (General Motors), Volkswagen, Toyota & Mazda. Most of the cars that they develop are based on the technology they get from their partners mentioned above. Xiali, RedFlag (HogQi), Haima & Besturn are some brands FAW operates within China. While it might require a book to cover all the cars that FAW offers out there, we have shortlisted a few worth mentioning here. You can compare these cars with the ones that are offered here.

FAW Oley Hatchback:

FAW launched the Oley sedan in 2012. Oley was derived from an upgraded version of the VW Jetta PQ32 platform. Later FAW decided to use the Oley name as a full-fledged brand under which they will sell low priced cars. The Oley hatchback is much prettier than its sedan sibling, pretty much the case we have with Vitz & Platz here. Oley is powered by an FAW-developed 1.5-liter engine that produces 100hp and 135nm of torque, mated to a 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic transmission. The price of the FAW Oley hatchback starts from $10,500 (around PKR 1,110,000/-).
Oley_front

FAW Haima Family:

Haima is another sub-brand run by FAW and the car ‘Family’ is based on the Mazda 3 platform. Its engine is a 1.6l unit that produces 120hp and 158nm torque, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Price of the Haima Family starts from $11,800 (around PKR 1,245,000/-) and can be fairly placed in the 1600cc segment in our market.

Haima_Family_1

Haima S5 SUV:

The Haima S5 SUV is a promising offering by FAW in the compact SUV segment. Power comes from a 1.6l naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine with 120hp and 160nm, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox sending power to the front wheels only. Price starts from $14,000 (PKR 1,476,000/-). There is also a 1.5l turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that has an output of 163hp and 223nm of torque and is mated to a CVT gearbox. The price of the turbo Haima S5 starts from $16,700 (PKR 1,762,000/-). The S5 can fill the gap created by the absence of Kia Sportage and can be considered a good option in the compact SUV segment.

S5_02

FAW Besturn B30:

Besturn B30 is a small sedan recently launched by FAW in the Chinese domestic market. Its roughly the same size as Toyota Vios or Honda City. The B30 is based on a VW Bora platform and runs on a VW 1.6l four-cylinder petrol engine with 109hp and 155nm of torque, mated to a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox. The price of which starts from $10,900.

B30_01

FAW Besturn B50:

Besturn B50 is out there for quite some time now and is doing well in export markets already. The B50 is based on a proven Mazda6 platform which FAW got from their joint venture with Mazda while the 1.6 liter engine powering the B50 comes from VW Bora. The 1.6 liter engine produces 106hp and 145nm of torque while mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic gearbox. The price of the B50 starts from $14,500 (PKR 1,530,000/-) and having a proven DNA, can compete well with the likes of Aspire and Altis 1.6.. who knows?

B50_01

FAW Besturn B70:

Besturn B70 is slightly bigger than the B50, while still based on the Mazda 6 platform. The B70 is available with two engines: a Mazda-sourced four-cylinder petrol engine with 143hp and 185nm of torque, and a Volkswagen-sourced 1.8l turbo with 186hp and 235nm of torque for the Besturn B70 ‘RS sport’. Both engines are mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. Price of B70 starts from $15,600 (PKR 1,646,000/-) & goes up to $23,500 (PKR 2,479,000/-) for the 1.8l sport version. The 1.8 liter naturally aspirated version can be a good option to be placed with 1.8 liter Civic & Corolla Altis Grande.

B70_01

FAW Besturn B90:

The Besturn B90 is the top of the line premium offering by FAW. The platform is again based on the Mazda6, and comes with the 180hp 1.8l turbo and the 204hp 2.0l turbo engines from the FAW-Volkswagen joint venture. The price tag starts from $22,900 (PKR 2,416,000/-) and goes up to $31,700 (PKR 3,344,000/-) for the 2.0l turbo version. However at price tag this high, it is unlikely to become a success here.

B90_02

FAW Besturn X80 SUV:

The X80 underpins a Mazda platform and is powered by a 1.8 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 180hp and 235nm of torque, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. X80 is also available with a 147hp 2.0 liter four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine. Price starts from $18,800 (PKR 1,983,000/-) and goes up to $28,500 (PKR 3,006,000/-) for the loaded versions.

X80_01

What’s worth mentioning is that these vehicles are equipped with safety features like Driver & Passenger Airbag, ABS+EBD as standard, within the price mentioned above. It is way more than what the expensive local cars of our market have to offer. These are just a few of the vehicles shared here, which we believe is enough to show the potential of the company. However, FAW should seriously work to bring better products here and do thorough marketing to create the brand awareness among the buyers. With proper after sales service and backup support from the company, potential buyers will definitely go for such options. People of this country have always shown welcome and support to the change, the past speaks. We sure hope to see more FAW vehicles here so that we can go a step further in bringing back the lost variety of our automobile market.

Photo courtesy: AutoHome

Usman Ansari

An automotive enthusiast associated with the animation industry since 15 years having worked with leading organizations and production facilities across Pakistan.

  • atif

    Hi Usman,

    From what I have read, they are planning to start local assembly of FAW – V2 along with automatic version. They are planning to expand (depending on sales and market response)

  • Zulfiqar Ali Soomro

    These are beautiful cars and powerful too with additional features! Would really love to see this company break the monopoly of the Pig3 but will the greedy and corrupt government let them?

  • Umer Fayyaz

    any reliable sources,so far they haven’t announced or did any inauguration of manufacturing setup for local assembly

  • Umer Fayyaz

    if they can import V2 and Sirius i think they can do a homework and see which market segment lacks competition and can import units for those price segment too, like they can easily win the market with SUVs mentioned above because all available options in pakistan start from 3million.

  • Farhan

    Bro ! There Assembly Plant has been operative since 2011. Then PM Raja Pervez Ashraf did the inauguration. Currently FAW has is assembling FAW Carrier and FAW XPV in Pakistan and importing Sirius and V2.

  • Shurjil Butt

    Pig 3 is the real word ! Bravo my man !

  • Zulfiqar Ali Soomro

    😀

  • Shurjil Butt

    These cars (well mostly 1300 cc and above) after stupid government taxes and custom shits will be available for such prices where a normal consumer would say .. “Oh well .. lets stick to Big 3, shall we”

  • Usman

    All of these look gr8!

  • Farhan

    The main issue is that all these cars mentioned in this article are available only in Left hand drive. I am quite sure that they are not available in RHD… Given the prices in this article, it seems very reasonable option for the Pakistani buyers get out of the Big 3 scenario. I hope FAW Pakistan works on it and convince the Chinese to make few models (if not all) in RHD version.

    BTW, this B30 and B-50 seems like an impressive and quite promising alternate for the sedans available in Pakistan.

  • Guest

    Chinese companies will manufacture RHD model if a big enough order is placed.
    The minimum is different for different companies, but starts from 100 pieces.

  • Guest

    Haima has very bad build quality. Even new Haimas on the road are rusty.

    Besturn is a brand from the same company, but their cars have much better build quality. Besturn B50 is very popular with taxi companies (taxi companies are also government owned enterprise) and is a move towards localization. As previously most taxis were Sonata. Besturn B50 is smaller than a Sonata though but has smaller engine so more fuel efficient, special consideration when the fleet has over 10,000 cars. Also, Besturn B50 is cheaper because it is locally manufactured by a local company. Many cars have 600,000+ on the odo and still running ok.

    —————————-

    Some thing about Chinese policy which is useful if adopted in Pakistan. The largest customers of vehicles are government institutions (such as taxi companies, military, so on). And the largest producers are also government companies (FAW, Dongfeng, Shanghai VW). The tax structure has 3 tiers:

    1. Local brand manufactured by local company (least tax).
    2. Foreign car manufactured in China (moderate tax). These are the most popular cars because Chinese government has superior policy which has forced all manufacturers to make factories in China and provide local jobs. Toyota, Honda, Suzuki, Audi, VW, Buick, Merc, BMW, Land Rover and most others are manufactured right inside China.
    3. Imported car. Foreign brand manufactured in overseas factory. The tax level is insane. Few months ago there was article on PW blog about the high price of imported sports cars in China. Needless to say this has completely stopped import of vehicles.

    But the good thing is that best and latest vehicles are already manufactured locally with best options and features so nobody needs to import. This is very good example of a government committed to the welfare of public, unlike Pakistan where the government is serving the investors.

  • Khurram

    Brother they have been operating in Pakistan since 2006. Though you can say that trucking segment is not the same as cars. But, still their presence here has been for more than ten years now, which shows their commitment towards expanding their production. It took them three years to break into the segment dominated by Hino and without proper marketing. But today you can see that their trucks, even mini (Mazda), are running in impressive numbers. Perhaps that is why car buyers are motivated to go for their cars in the first place, knowing that buying a truck is no mean feat to achieve.

  • Another guest

    The market is very small. Competitors will enter a market only when it is big enough.

  • AbdulB1

    Geely owns volvo so I am sure they will improve the quality. regarding faw’s locally launched cars ,I am disappointed that they didn’t included auto transmission or even amt transmission.

  • Zeeshan

    Please enlighten us on the FAW Oley Hatchback model selling in Pakistan. Is it locally manufactured. What are the specs and added accessories and how about the build quality and price structure.

  • munib

    copy that !

  • Atif

    Although it’s not confirmed yet but I read about it both on a Pakwheels blog article by Fahad and I think also on FAW facebook page

  • Umer Fayyaz

    brothers FAW had announced that they will start building V2 and Srius ‘soon’ that was said in last quarter of 2014 but till this time they have not inaugurated even plant, starting production afterwards is another thing.

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