The Pakistani auto industry is majorly driven by the factor of resale. While the rest of the world treats its cars like an expense, the people of our dear homeland treat their cars like an investment. From a Suzuki Mehran to a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, every car appreciates in value with each passing year, and that is why many people in Pakistan like to invest in cars instead of the greener pasture of Bahria Town.
Speaking of investment, the latest model of Toyota Land Cruiser Prado is considered very hot these as a short term investment, and rightly so. Let me tell you why.
First, the vehicle is a Toyota. Toyota is the number one automaker in terms of sales globally and in Pakistan, people regard the automaker very dearly. Toyota in Pakistan is considered a citadel of automotive thirst. People tend to get emotional over the name of Toyota and many of my colleagues at PakWheels have even gotten life threats over criticizing the automaker. So you can very well imagine how dearly the people of our motherland love this automaker.
Secondly, the Prado looks absolutely stunning and it stands out from its league of the vehicles it is compared with, such as the Mitsubishi Pajero or the Nissan Pathfinder. Although it is designed as a mid-size SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle), the Prado looks nothing short of a full-size SUV with defining curves which makes the Prado look elegant and robust at the same time. In my opinion, the fascia is more like of an alien warship which wants to destroy everything in its path. The aura of this vehicle conveys its authority on the road. The Prado is powered by a 4.0 liter V6 engine which makes 271 hp and 381 Nm of torque which make the vehicle reach a speed of 100 km/h from zero in 9 seconds and can take it up to the speeds of 200 km/h. There’s also a 2.7 liter straight-four engine which makes 161 hp and 246 Nm of torque, does a 0-100 km/h in 13 seconds and can reach speeds up to 170 km/h.
A decent (4.5+ grade low-mileage) Prado can be purchased at an average price of Rs. 13 million for the 4.0 liter variant and 9 million for the 2.7 liter variant. Despite the price tag, the vehicle is quite popular amongst the people who have a budget of that sort for a vehicle because of the exorbitant prices of Land Cruiser 200 Series. Previously, the LC200 used to cost in the price bracket of 10-15 million, but now the prices have crossed the 22 million mark for unregistered ones and people who were able to afford the LC200 in the past are now looking for other avenues to satisfy their automotive lust. Also, the people who currently own LC200’s do not want to sell their rides for lower prices so there is not much left in the market for people looking to buy an SUV with good looks, reliability and resale in the 9-13 million budgets which make the vehicle in question an excellent value for money.
Keeping all that in mind, many small time investors are buying these vehicles, not to enjoy them, but to sell them later at a profit, because the past data shows that these vehicles appreciate in value substantially. Maybe the government of Pakistan can replace dollar with Toyota Prados in an effort to curb the rapid depreciation of Pakistani rupee.