Should Audi Pakistan Import The Audi A1 In Pakistan?

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Recently, Audi started deliveries of the 1.2 liter A3.  It has 105 hp and Audi claims it has an economy of 4.8 liter/100 km. Obviously, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla do not even come close to the Audi A3 in any way you look at it, be it the quality, ride, safety, features, etc. But due to high duties it is priced at 3.8 million rupees (38 lacs) and as a result it is still 1.3 to 1.4 million more expensive than the top of the line variants of Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla and thereby out of reach of most of the Pakistani consumers.

The purpose of writing this article is to continue the argument of “opening up imports”. Well first I would like to mention that I am not in favor of a policy that heavily favors imported cars, I only want imports to be opened as a disciplinary act as also suggested by CCP (Competition Commission of Pakistan), SBP (State Bank of Pakistan) and most of the stakeholders of this industry (apart from the Big 3 namely Toyota Indus, Honda Pakistan and Pak Suzuki).

The CCP, SBP and consumers have all the valid reasons for their argument of opening up imports for disciplinary reasons, some of them are :

  1. Higher price than international counterparts and lower quality than international counterparts.
  2. Lack of safety features.
  3. Lack of choice.
  4. Old models being produced for over 20 years.
  5. The automakers are still essentially assemblers rather than manufacturers.
  6. Lack of technology transfer.
  7. Our assembled products cannot be exported as they will fail the many stringent tests of potential buyers
  8. Our auto industry is decades behind the auto industries of our neighboring countries.
  9. Policies that favor the Big 3 (Toyota Indus, Honda Pakistan and Pak Suzuki) have yielded nothing but consumers being overcharged year after year.
  10. High Japanese Yen resulted in prices being raised but when the Yen fell in the international market prices remained constant, and the list goes on.

We will see if our pleas are heard or not in the new auto policy which has been due for quite some time now and is late for reasons unknown, maybe the alleged lobbying has not resulted in desired results, or the politicians are not happy with the amount of bribes, who knows.

But if the import policy remains unchanged, in this case, will importing the Audi A1 hatchback do any good? Let us explore further:

Audi A3 price in UK (also a country with high import duties): 3.5 million rupees equivalent (35 lacs)
Audi A3 price in Pakistan: 3.8 million rupees (38 lacs) (8.5% increase from the UK price)

If we apply the same formula:

Audi A1 price in UK : 2.15 million rupees equivalent (21.5 lacs)
Hypothetical price in Pakistan : 21.5 x 108.5% = 2.33 million rupees (23.3 lacs)

As we can see, the price of Audi A1 would be equivalent to that of Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, obviously it would be difficult to convince people to buy a hatchback instead of a sedan, but maybe they could be convinced if they see what they can get in the car if they sacrifice the boot. Our public would finally be able to see what they deserve from their hard earned cash, and the local car mafia would finally bring down their prices in face of fair competition.

I believe importing this car could be a game changer for our industry. It would be a win-win situation for both the consumers and for Audi Pakistan. Audi has already done amazing in making a car available for under 4. million rupees (40 lacs) and by importing this car, Audi would take the game away from Mercedes, BMW, Porsche and other automakers who import CBUs in Pakistan. And for the consumers, it would be nice to see the Big 3 jolted in action by this move.

What do you think would be the impact on the auto industry of Pakistan if Audi Pakistan imports the Audi A1 in Pakistan?  Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Unity , Faith , Discipline says

    Well given a choice between civic/corolla or A1 , I,m definitely going for the A1 , I,m sure many would agree with me …..Import It Audi

  2. mugz says

    a hatchback in this price range would be a challenge to sell in a market like Pakistan.

  3. ok says

    Audi > honda , toyota

  4. Usman says

    Amazing idea for the car lovers in a reasonable price to buy a big brand. Moreover a car with proper safety features will be available.

  5. waliullah solangi says

    Definitely, it would be a game changer! Import it Audi!

  6. Shahjahan Ahmed says

    Hatchback doesn’t matter much. In the day of today even a kid knows what audi is…. And where the so called “big three” stand in front of it. Audi must bring it. Ciz the name does matter.

  7. Zaeem says

    Well i don’t think this would be the great hit because back in 2006 BMW also introduced BMW 1 series in this price range but that was failed miserably.

  8. Musharaffs time was different says

    the dollar was at 60 then and corolla Gli was available for around 8 lakhs…..times have changed

  9. Musharaffs time was different says

    Plus 1 series was one of the most ugliest car ever

  10. Rosh says

    I believe they should. But they will have to find a way to keep it under 2 million to make it a success. True, i dont have any calculation to prove the correction of this 2 million figure but i know the way of thinking over here. Less than 2 million is a huge chance to jolt these big 3.

  11. kas says

    A1 is a very good looking car. The boot in these hatchbacks are bigger then one think. Under 2 million will be a great hit. All the young people will go for it.

  12. Audi Pakistan says

    you for posting this idea. And frankly speaking it is something we have
    considered. However, reality is sometimes quite different than we would hope
    for. The A1 is a sure fit for the Pakistani market; a small car with Audi qualities
    and the Audi badge can’t really fail, however not in the form of a CBU import.
    It would be just too expensive, and it would be unfair for our consumers to pay
    such a high price, for a small car. This is the reason why we have not
    considered importing the A1.

  13. toyota pakistan says

    stop day dreaming

  14. Shehryar Ali Raja says

    well well well… we just cant just get rid of corolla/city/liana/swift/cultus …….. audi we expect more …. but yes limitations are there .. still v hope for the best.

  15. Asad Tasneem Ghani says

    I am in process of booking 1.2 A3…. and at the Audi center I asked the question why aren’t you importing the A1, and he said currently A1 is only coming in 1.8 and with the duty structure for 1.8 the prices is around the same as of A3 i.e., 3.8million, which is not realistic for a small car.

  16. truly says

    that is a lie ….a1 comes in 1000cc also…..ive checked………..the only reason they are not importing is because the profit margin will be too low …and also because a1 will sell in large numbers and they do not have the after sales service capabilities to handle such large number of cars….in essence the profit margin wont be worth all the hassle

  17. Osman says

    As per Audi Showroom (Karachi) the reason they haven’t launched it as yet is because Audi hasn’t launched the Asia spec A1.

  18. batao na..! says

    tell us the cost if it is indeed audi pakistan here…

  19. Samiullah Hussaini says

    can i buy audi A1 parts in Pakistan. I am willing to sent one in Pakistan to family, its cheap and same tax all others

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