Hyundai emerged in Pakistan in the very early 2000’s with the Santro. The 1.0l hatchback quickly became popular due to its unique and spacious design. Being one of the very few first cars with fuel injection, the Santro was surely an attraction in that era.
Later on, the Santro received its first facelift in 2003. The car was reduced to a smaller size with minimal compromise in the cabin space. The Santro was then sold all the way up till 2009 and apparently, it gave a tough time to the other local hatchbacks throughout its 10 year tenure. Meanwhile, Hyundai launched the Terracan SUV which couldn’t gain popularity at all because it was surely ugly. Another product of the Hyundai range was the Hyundai Shehzore pickup truck which was and still is reigning in the midsized truck ranges and is very popular among goods and construction companies.
2 out of 3 is not a bad score in the local industry. We’ve seen cars here such as the Proton which disappeared altogether just because of their short sightedness, but the company we’re talking about here; Hyundai, has had a good history in the local market, so why did they discontinue the Santro in 2009 and now they’ve launched it again recently? Moreover, they didn’t come up with something new. They’re offering the entirely same Santro as it was in 2003. Who should we blame now? The Hyundai Motor Corporation in the South Korea or the Dewan Farooque Group in Pakistan, which is responsible of producing and distributing the Hyundai vehicles here? Maybe it was written in the agreement that Dewan has to make and sell the Santro for the entire eternity but that is just a possibility, chances are that this wasn’t the plan and the Dewan Farooque are not interested in giving us anything else from the exclusive lineup of Hyundai’s vehicles.
Coming towards the vehicle lineup, Hyundai produces over 28 unique vehicles including cars and SUV’s throughout the world and IMO, each of them is lovely!
Starting from the compact i10 which is one of the most popular cars in India and going up to the full-sized luxury sedans such as Sonata, Genesis and Centennial, Hyundai’s vehicle lineup is amazing. Where the i10 would return you high mpg, the Centennial would amaze you with its presence and a massive 5.0 V8. Hyundai has so much more to offer than just these. All the cars they make are unique in design and performance.
We are aware of the fact that the 3 Automotive sharks here in Pakistan won’t do anything for the petrol heads rather than giving us low quality cars at ridiculously high prices. All we can hope then is other companies to come here and offer the best and viable cars that suit the our market. I’d personally love to buy the Sonata which starts from $21,000 or the Genesis that starts from $26,000. The price tags are huge but on the other hand, the compact i10 starts from $8,000 roughly which is a pretty good price for a car that has so much more to offer than a Rs. 1.0 million Cultus. In between this price bracket, all the other compact hatch’s and mid-sized sedans fall which can compete with every single car of our local market.
This research leads us to a few results. One of them, surprisingly is that Hyundai alone produces 3 times more cars than our 3 major companies combined in Pakistan.
The pattern of our industry and consumer behavior is that the majority of people want cheap things with the most features. That means getting the most out of the minimum budget. Now, this demand of the public is surely fulfilled by the mobile industry after the introduction of cheap Chinese assembled phones such as QMobile, AMB etc but this is not a way out for the automobile industry. Chinese cars might be cheap but running a car on road is an entirely different story. Availability of spare parts, low running costs, reliability are the main factors which develop the image of a certain car and the Chinese vehicles would never get the fame.
What can happen then is, the companies like Hyundai, which already have a place in the market, can introduce low cost cars here and let the public be aware of their capabilities. I’m sure that someone wise would buy a Hyundai i10 rather than the Suzuki Cultus even if the i10 costs a bit more. At least you’ll get what you pay for. Unlike my Suzuki Swift whose integrated audio system doesn’t work any longer, even though my car has hardly done 4k on the ODO and I paid Rs. 1.3 million for it.
It is not necessary that Hyundai brings in the Sonata or the Genesis here but the low end cars would surely be a hit, given that they’re brought here with complete customer care centers and economical factors are prioritized.
In the end, I’d like you people to take a look at the beauties Hyundai produces worldwide and express your feelings and reviews about Hyundai in the comments.