Despite being a tough year for the auto sector of Pakistan, 2019 also had a few things to cherish about. Several new cars from new as well as existing auto manufacturers were launched in the local market. The introduction of Pakistan’s first auto policy back in 2016 turned out to be a gateway for the new players to enter in the local manufacturing of cars in Pakistan. The Auto Development Policy (ADP) 2016-21 offered several tax-based incentives to the new automakers to set up their production plants in the country. Various new global players, including KIA, Sportage, etc. entered the local industry and started their production to compete with the existing Japanese auto giants. Some local companies that produced two-wheelers, including United and Road Prince, also acquired Greenfield Status under the auto policy to manufacture cars locally.
Nonetheless, all these efforts were made to enhance the competition in the local sector so that the consumers get a good quality product at an affordable price range. However, the current scenario looks the other way because the new manufacturers have either introduced cars in the premium-class range, or their mid-range cars are also priced somewhat near to the existing ones. On the other hand, car sales have gone so into a nose dive due to their sky-rocketing prices amid sharp devaluation of rupee against the US dollar and imposition of different taxes and duties by the government. The auto sector is in crisis due to the economic slowdown process, and the future still remains a mystery that needs to be solved by the government. However, the automakers are optimistic about their future by the start of the next fiscal year despite being forced to reduce their production for several months due to low demand in the market.
As of now, we will have a look at the cars launched Pakistan during 2019 and analyze where they currently stand in the local market. So, let’s have a quick recap from 2019!
In February 2019, Hyundai Nishat Motors launched another premium class vehicle in Pakistan. Hyundai Grand Starex is an MPV that was revealed at Pakistan’s first digital showroom at Emporium Mall, Lahore. The MPV is equipped with a 2.4 MPI gasoline engine that comes with a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission. The CBU unit of Grand Starex is imported by the company in three different variants, i.e. Starex M/T GL, Starex A/T GLS, and Starex A/T GLX. The 12-seater MPV was launched at the following ex-factory prices:
- Hyundai Grand Starex GL M/T – PKR 3,999,000/-
- Hyundai Grand Starex GLS A/T– PKR 4,999,000/-
- Hyundai Grand Starex GLX A/T– PKR 5,199,000/-
The company introduced it in the local market to compete with KIA Grand Carnival. Considering its cabin space and seating capacity, it was a good addition to the auto sector of Pakistan. Grand Carnival’s base variant LX is priced at PKR 4,899,000. Hyundai, on the other hand, has not increased the price of its Grand Starex since launch.
HYUNDAI SANTA FE:
Hyundai Santa Fe GLS is yet another premium segment Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) of the Korean automaker in Pakistan. The company launched the vehicle under a 2.4-liter MPI Atkinson Cycle engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and 4-wheel drive system with HTRAC. It’s also powered by several modern safety features that make it unique in its own class. The auto manufacturer only launched a single variant of Santa Fe, which is priced at PKR 18.5 million. Although it’s such a powerful and entertaining prospect for the car enthusiasts, its price is way out of the reach of the consumers’ market. It was launched along with Grand Starex back in February 2019.
DFSK GLORY 580T:
Regal motors introduced the Prince DFSK Glory 580 SUV in the local market of Pakistan in April 2019. The automaker acquired Greenfield status under the auto development policy (ADP) 2016-21 to manufacture cars in the country. Previously, the brand was famous for making motorbikes in Pakistan. The 7-seater SUV is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine under a CVT transmission. It’s offered in 3 variants in the local sector as follows:
- DFSK Glory 580 1.5 MT PKR 3,500,000/-
- DFSK Glory 580 1.5 CVT PKR 3,750,000/-
- DFSK Glory 580 1.8 CVT PKR 3,900,000/-
The most awaited and anticipated car of 2019 was the all-new 660cc Alto from Pak Suzuki. It’s also the first-ever 660cc locally produced hatchback in the local sector, launched back on 15th June 2019. Suzuki Alto replaced the iconic 800cc Mehran, and so far, it has performed exceptionally well. The automaker has whopping sales of Alto in the first six months of its launch and still performing better than the entire family of Pak Suzuki products. It was launched in three variants (two manual and one AGS), which were launched at the following ex-factory prices.
- Suzuki Alto VX PKR 999,000/-
- Suzuki Alto VXR PKR 1,101,000/-
- Suzuki Alto VXL AGS PKR 1,295,000/-
The current price of these variants as of 1st January 2020 is as follows:
- Suzuki Alto VX PKR 1,135,000/-
- Suzuki Alto VXR PKR 1,398,000/-
- Suzuki Alto VXL AGS PKR 1,598,000/-
Suzuki Alto is a direct competitor of the 800 cc United Bravo that was launched in the second half of 2018. This segment is recently joined by another new entrant Prince Pearl which is also powered by an 800cc engine.
The Korean automaker launched the 4th generation of its highly-anticipated Sportage back in August 2019. The return of Sportage in the local market was widely appreciated by car enthusiasts. The compact SUV comes in two different variants, i.e. front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive. Apart from being loaded with several comfort and convenience-based features, the SUV was also launched at a very attractive price bracket. In the local sector, KIA Sportage competes with Toyota’s Fortuner that costs PKR 7,299,000 for the new base variant introduced by Toyota Indus. The two variants of Sportage along with their current ex-factory prices are given below:
- KIA Sportage FWD (PKR 4,899,000)
- KIA Sportage AWD (PKR 5,399,000)
The booking amount of Sportage is PKR 1.5 million for FWD and PKR 1.7 million for the AWD version. Note here that the KIA Sportage was launched at a highly competitive introductory price of PKR 4,599,000 for the FWD variant and PKR4,999,000 for the AWD version.
KIA kicked-off its local production campaign with high-end cars that didn’t get much attention from the masses. The automaker soon realized the situation and launched a mid-range 1000cc hatchback Picanto on 14th September 2019. There was a lot of anticipation for Picanto, but the company introduced an outdated generation of the hatchback in Pakistan. The 2nd gen-model was already discontinued in other parts of the world a year ago. And as expected, the hatchback is yet to make its impression in the local market. Nonetheless, it’s a great prospect in the local sector that adds another choice for the consumers and competes directly with Suzuki Cultus. But the company introduced it at a higher price that was certainly not appreciated by the public considering the fact that it’s an outdated model and promised to compete with the existing Cultus. The hatchback comes in two variants (one manual, one automatic) under the following ex-factory price tags:
- KIA Picanto 1.0L M/T PKR 1,899,000/-
- KIA Picanto 1.0L A/T PKR 1,999,000/-
Surprisingly, the company hasn’t yet increased the price of its hatchback since its launch. Consequently, Pak Suzuki has also restrained from increasing the price of Cultus in its price increase notification that came into effect from 1st January 2020.
Suzuki Jimny’s 4th generation model was first introduced in July 2018 in its home market, Japan. After over a year, the company launched it in the auto sector of Pakistan in September 2019 at an introductory price of PKR 3,890,000. The retro-styled boxy shaped Suzuki Jimny comes equipped with a 4-cylinder 1.5-liter K15B engine. The 3-door Jeep is powered by a 5-speed manual transmission under the rigid ladder frame that offers great adventures to its customers. The current ex-factory price of Suzuki Jimny in the local market is as follows:
- Suzuki Jimny GA MT PKR 3,990,000/-
The company takes a lot of pride in its boxy-shaped Jimny, but its price has rather been on the higher side in Pakistan. Its previous generation model was priced at just under PKR 2.5 million when it was discontinued.
Hyundai Nishat has not yet targeted the mass market in the auto sector of Pakistan. The company launched the 1st generation of Hyundai Ioniq in October 2019 in the local sector as a competitor of Toyota Prius. There is only one variant of Ioniq in Pakistan, i.e. Ioniq GLS. The car is equipped with a Kappa 1.6-litre Atkinson GDI 1580 cc engine mated to a 6-speed DCT transmission. Hyundai Ioniq is a front-wheel-drive car that falls in the luxury segment of cars in Pakistan. The car is imported as a completely built unit and priced at PKR 6,399,000 (ex-factory). It’s available in the market at a booking price of 50% of the price of the car.
Toyota Prius S, however, costs PKR 8,370,000 in the local market that also comes as a CBU unit. So, Hyundai Ioniq is a great prospect in terms of its price but is yet to gain popularity in the market.
HYUNDAI PORTER H100:
Hyundai Nishat Motors recently launched a locally assembled Porter H100 pickup for its customers on 2nd December 2019. The pickup vehicle was also produced previously under the name tag of Shehzore in Pakistan. Under the hood, Porter H100 has a 2.6-liter diesel engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission system. The company started to take its bookings from the next day, and its deliveries are expected to be made this month. The launch price of the only variant of Hyundai Porter H100 is PKR 2,449,000 in the local market. In the early days, it gained massive popularity in the local sector, and the company expects the same with the new version of the pickup.
That’s all from the year 2019, and we look forward to 2020 with more new cars coming to the local market from the new and existing automakers. Share your thoughts in the comments section below and stay tuned to PakWheels for more updates.
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