The year 2019 ended with a little to cheer and a lot to lose for the auto sector of Pakistan that went through turmoil in this period. We already discussed a lot of circulating issues in the previous blogs, but it’s time to pick up the positives from the year that has gone by. The auto sector of Pakistan saw many new auto players, as well as several new models being launched in the last 12 months. At the same time, the year was filled with several auto events and worth-sharing happenings. So, let’s quickly turn to a quick yet detailed recap of 2019.
CARS LAUNCHED IN 2019
Despite the economic contraction process in the country, there were several cars launched in the local auto sector of Pakistan during 2019 from the existing and new auto players.
Pak Suzuki is one of the largest automakers in Pakistan for several decades now. The company dominates in the hatchback category with no competitor in this segment for years. However, 2019 did bring competitors for Pak Suzuki, such as KIA Picanto, United Bravo, and Prince Pearl. But the biggest reveal of 2019 remained the all-new 660cc Alto.
660 cc Alto
Ever since its launch, the company has sold more than 20,000 units of Alto in just six months of its launch and has been the driving force of the company’s overall sales. The entry-level hatchback has gained popularity in no time and undoubtedly filled the big shoes of the iconic Mehran. It competes with United Bravo and the recently launched Prince Pearl.
Toyota IMC didn’t introduce any new model in 2019 but introduced a few new variants of its Corolla line-up. The automaker was expected to replace the 1.3-liter variants of Corolla with Toyota Yaris, but now it’s expected to come in the first quarter of 2020.
Apart from introducing the facelift models of City, Civic, and BR-V, the Japanese auto giant didn’t introduce anything new in 2019. The company is still playing around with the 10-years old model of Honda City by introducing slight changes in the exterior of the cars. In all the hundreds of facelifts of City, the automaker didn’t bother to add airbags in its car as a basic safety feature. So far, the automaker is just calculating the number of production days it should be observing each month as the market demand stays on the lower side.
The Korean auto giant Hyundai returned to Pakistan by acquiring Greenfield status to manufacture cars in the country yet again. The company hasn’t lived up to the expectations of the masses so far as it has focused on introducing only high-end luxury cars in the country. The auto manufacturer introduced three new models in the local sector, including the following:
The automaker launched a premium segment SUV Santa Fe back in February 2019. The 2.4-liter engine of Santa Fe produces enormous power and brings a thrilling experience for the consumers. However, the price of this particular SUV is far more than the mass market. It’s a CBU vehicle and priced at PKR 18.5 million in the local market.
Hyundai Grand Starex is the other vehicle launched alongside Santa Fe. The 12-seater MPV is equipped with a 2.4 MPI engine that is available in the market in three variants that includes a manual version and two automatic trims. It was yet another high-end vehicle launched by the company in the local market but turns out to be a good addition in terms of its utility.
In the second half of 2019, Hyundai Nishat introduced the 1st generation of Ioniq in Pakistan. It’s equipped with a 1.6-liter Atkinson engine mated to a 6-speed DCT transmission. It’s brought in the local market to compete with Toyota Prius. This was the third and the last new vehicle introduced by Hyundai Nishat during 2019.
Another Korean automaker KIA made its way to the local sector of Pakistan with a lot of expectations of delivering. The company didn’t kick off its campaign too promisingly but soon realized the need for the local sector. It also launched a few high-end cars initially before bringing the mid-sized 1000cc hatchback Picanto. Let’s have a look at the launches of KIA in Pakistan during 2019.
The 4th generation of KIA Sportage was launched back in August 2019. The SUV is an attractive choice in the local market due to its pricing as it competes with Toyota Fortuner that is priced quite high. The two variants of KIA Sportage come around PKR 5 million. Also, Sportage has so far gained acceptability in the local market and probably eating up the sales of Fortuner as well.
The company launched 2nd generation Picanto in the local market. Apart from FAW V2, there was no competitor of Suzuki Cultus and Wagon R in the local sector. KIA Picanto brings that wave of competition and, most probably, also the reason why Pak Suzuki would want to price Suzuki Cultus carefully now.
The auto manufacturer was previously known as a motorbike manufacturer in the country. It acquired Greenfield status by the government under the ADP 2016-21 to manufacture cars locally. The company’s most anticipated launch is the 1000cc Prince Pearl hatchback.
DFSK Prince added a new option for its consumers by introducing Glory 580 SUV in the local market. The automaker launched the 7-seater SUV in three variants in Pakistan that is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and a variant with a 1.8-liter engine. The vehicle is priced from PKR 3.5 – 4 million in the local sector of Pakistan.
Towards the end of the year, the company rolled out the first CKD unit of the most awaited 1000cc hatchback Prince Pearl from its production plant on 19th December 2019. The company has not yet revealed the price of its hatchback, but it’s expected to be around PKR 1 million. The automaker will also be offering test drives to the customers. It will directly compete with United Bravo and Suzuki Alto in the local sector.
As far as the facelift versions of cars in Pakistan are concerned, Honda Atlas leads the table with a fair bit of margin. The company has introduced so many facelift versions of each of its models, particularly Honda City. Let’s have a look at all the facelift models introduced in 2019:
The current generation of Honda City has already received countless facelifts ever since its launch in Pakistan back in 2009. We have already entered into the 2020s, and the company is yet to realize that there is a need for a new model of City in the local sector. The consumers are no more interested in the facelifts of City as the company finds slight changes as a reason for a price hike. Honda Atlas has changed numerous designs of the front radiator grille of City so far and not to forget the addition of infamous shark fin antenna. The consumers have almost forgotten the idea of having a new shape of City in Pakistan ever again.
The 10th generation of Honda Civic was launched in Pakistan back in July 2016, which makes it more than three years old in the market. In April 2019, the company launched its facelift model, which was much of an anticipated move in the market, knowing the car didn’t receive any changes for the past three years. The current generation of Civic has been a success story of the automaker ever since its launch.
BR-V, the compact crossover SUV of Honda Atlas, was also updated with a facelift version in the second half of 2019. It’s the first facelift version of BR-V introduced in the market for which the company believed that it would lift the dropping sales of BR-V.
United Motors revealed the first-ever hatchback Bravo in the second half of 2018. The 800cc hatchback is slowly making in-roads in the local auto sector. The company aims to improve its entry-level hatchback based on the response from the consumers’ end. Recently, it launched the facelift model of Bravo that now includes a spare tire as the most useful addition in the hatchback.
PAKWHEELS AUTO SHOWS 2019
PakWheels initiated the trend of auto shows back in 2011 that has ever since grown and now turns out to be the most awaited event for the general public as well as car enthusiasts across the country. In 2019, several auto shows were arranged, and their details are as under:
Multan Auto Show 2019
PakWheels Auto Show series for the year 2019 began from Multan Auto Show on 3rd February 2019 that was arranged in the city of saints. The event took place in the Multan DHA Bosan Road. It was also the 5th episode of PakWheels Auto Show in Multan that was a complete family event joined by more than 250 automobiles.
Bahawalpur Auto Show 2019
The 2nd PakWheels Auto Show of the year was held on 10th February 2019 at the DHA near Airport Bridge, Bahawalpur. There was a huge gathering of car enthusiasts at the show, which featured vehicles under six different categories. The inaugural ceremony of Cholistan Jeep Rally 2019 was also organized at the Bahawalpur Auto Show 2019.
Gujranwala Auto Show 2019
Gujranwala hosted the 2nd edition of PakWheels Auto Show on 17th March 2019, held at the Master City Housing Scheme. The event was attended by a large number of women and children and enjoyed the fun-filled activities at the event. A large collection of vintage and exotic cars was showcased at the event in Gujranwala.
Sialkot Auto Show 2019
The 3rd PakWheels auto show of Sialkot’s history was held on 13th October 2019 at the Citi Housing, Daska Road. This year’s auto show in Sialkot was a huge success as it was attended by more than 35000 visitors.
Islamabad Auto Show 2019
The federal capital of Pakistan witnessed the 8th auto show of its history on 27th October 2019. A large number of tourists turned out to 2F2F Formula Karting, Rawal Lake, to share their experiences and showcase vehicles at the grand event. Like every year, the show featured six categories of vehicles, including vintage, classic, luxury, bikes, etc.
Faisalabad Auto Show 2019
PakWheels provided a unified platform to the car enthusiasts of Faisalabad for the 5th time on 17th November 2019 to share their passion for cars at the famous D-Ground. More than 45000 people attended the event to make it a success as compared to its previous year.
Lahore Auto Show 2019
The 9th auto show of Lahore was held on 24th November 2019 at its very own venue, Liberty Market. Like always, the event was a huge one courtesy to the enthusiasm of the crowd of Lahore. The auto show comprised of six different categories of vehicles. Several owners of vehicles were present to showcase their unique cars, and the event was attended by hundreds of families. Pakistan’s famous band Black Hour also performed at Lahore Auto Show 2019.
Peshawar Auto Show 2019
The PakWheels Peshawar Auto show of 2019 was held at Hayatabad Sports Complex in Peshawar on 8th December 2019. The Peshawar Auto Show 2019 was also the 5th show in the city that was joined by thousands along with hundreds of participants who came up with different types of vehicles such as vintage, luxury, exotics, SUV’s, bikes, modified, etc.
Karachi Auto Show 2019
The series of Auto Shows ended up with the one in Karachi, which was held on 22nd December 2019 at Port Grand. Like every other auto show, a large community of car enthusiasts participated in the event with their unique and astonishing exotic and luxury cars. The event was highly appreciated, and the presence of hundreds of families made the event successful.
PAKWHEELS CAR MELAS in 2019
PakWheels Islamabad Car Mela
The federal capital of Pakistan hosted its first-ever Car Mela of PakWheels back on 24th February 2019 at 2F2F Formula Karting, Lake View Park. Hundreds of cars, including SUVs, sedans, hatchbacks, etc. were present at the event, and the event kicked off with several deals earlier in the morning. The Car Mela received such a positive response from the public of twin cities who attended the event in large numbers.
In 2019, PakWheels.com again brought the car mela in Islamabad on October 6, 2019.
PakWheels Karachi Car Mela
The Car Mela of PakWheels arrived in the city of lights on 3rd March 2019, where it was welcomed by thousands of genuine buyers and sellers. The event took place inside the Hall no.6 of the Karachi’s Expo Centre. The families had a great time at the event that concluded with various deals based on the certifications by PakWheels.
PakWheels Lahore Car Mela
The PakWheels Car Mela in Lahore was held on 24th March 2019 at Liberty Market parking that turned out to be highly responsive as compared to its previous editions. The attendance was almost double this time around, and a large number of people with their families and friends attended the event for the sake of buying and selling cars and motorbikes. Several potential buyers and sellers finalized deals on this occasion.
Note here in 2019 PakWheels.com again brought car mela in Lahore on December 1, 2019, at Liberty Market Parking, from 9 am to 5 pm. This was the fourth car mela in the city.
Second PakWheels Karachi Car Mela
Karachi hosted its 2nd PakWheels Car Mela on 22nd December 2019 at Port Grand. The event was even bigger than its last edition, and hundreds of cars were available at the event for sale. Many genuine buyers were present at the event, along with their families as well.
AUTO EVENTS AND RALLIES OF 2019
Classic Motors get-together
On 6th January 2019, PakWheels arranged classic motors get-together for the enthusiasts of these kinds of cars in Lahore. The event was an invite-only event for the PakWheels community members, and the participants joined the show from different cities. The event helped in enabling the classic motor enthusiasts to discuss their passion for these cars.
TDCP’s 14th Cholistan Jeep Rally 2019
Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP), in collaboration with Mountain Dew, organized the 14th edition of adrenaline-pumping Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally from 14th to 17th February 2019. It’s undoubtedly Pakistan’s most highly-anticipated and biggest Motorsport event of the calendar. Cholistan jeep rally 2019 covered the districts of Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalnagar, and Bahawalpur and consisted of two rounds. The first round had a track length of 220 km, while the second round was 245 km long. Apart from the grand event’s race, it helps in promoting and depicting the culture and beautiful landscape of South Punjab. This year, Rs.5 million was distributed among the winners of the Cholistan Desert Rally. Nadir Magsi, yet again, won the title in 2019 in the prepared Category A race.
Pakistan’s 1st Digital Showroom
On 23rd February 2019, Hyundai Nishat Motors launched Pakistan’s first-ever digital showroom at Emporium Mall, Lahore. With its launch, the customer’s vehicle buying experience transformed from a traditional car showroom to a 3D configurator-based showroom. The real-time configurator allows the customers to customize and experience their vehicle by virtually operating the features of the vehicle. Nonetheless, it transformed the buying experience for the customers.
Pakistan Zindabad Rally 2019
PakWheels, in association with Parks and Horticulture Authority Lahore (PHA), organized Pakistan Zindabad Rally on 31st March 2019. The rally was held to pay tribute to Pakistan Armed Forces and show solidarity and homage to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the country. It was inaugurated by DG PHA Dr. Faisal Zahoor and Chairman PakWheels Suneel Sarfraz Munj. It was an emotion-filled event with several slogans in favor of Pakistan and its armed forces. The rally kicked off from Liberty Market Roundabout and ended at Jillani Park. The special feature of the rally was the participation of sports cars, luxury and vintage cars, heavy bikes, etc.
1st Chakwal Jeep Rally 2019
Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP), in collaboration with the local administration, introduced the first-ever 4×4 Chakwal Jeep Rally on 7th April 2019. The rally made an impressive debut with its 2-day event in the Lake District, Chakwal. Dharabi Dam was the starting and ending point of the jeep rally that comprised of 22 km track. A large number of local communities attended the spectacular event that also witnessed Pakistan’s fastest female driver, Salma Marwat, who won the race in women’s category. It was a great event in terms of promoting tourism in the district that has as many as 26 lakes in the region.
Pakistan Auto Parts Show (PAPS) 2019
Pakistan Auto Parts Show (PAPS) 2019 was organized from 12th to 14th April 2019 at Karachi’s Expo Centre to promote exports. It was one of the biggest events of the local automobile industry that also witnessed the biggest reveal of Pakistan’s first-ever locally manufactured 660cc Suzuki Alto. As many as 244 exhibitors, including 106 international and 89 local companies, participated in the event. The Korean automaker KIA also displayed Sportage and Picanto at this show for the first time. Changan was also a part of the show and showcased its A800 and the 7-seater SUV CX70T. In the 3-day event, PakWheels also participated in the event and helped people in the buying, selling, and maintenance of their vehicles.
3rd Sarfaranga Desert Rally 2019
The 3rd episode of PakWheels Sarfaranga Desert Rally in an association with the government of Gilgit-Baltistan was organized from 23rd to 25th August 2019 at the coldest desert in Skardu. It has become the 2nd largest motorsports event of Pakistan in just three years of its inception. The rally was accompanied by several local competitions, including the Polo match and Cultural night. Over 150 contenders participated in the event under ten categories of races, i.e. 4 for Prepared Category, 4 for Stock Category, 1 for Women Category, and 1 for Bike Category. The participation of female drivers was the most appreciable aspect of the grand event. Nadir Magsi won the Category A race by completing the 50+ km track ahead of all others. The closing ceremony was held at Serena Hotel in which respective prices were distributed.
Dew Moto Extreme
Dew Moto Extreme was one of the most thrilling and extraordinary events of the year that was kicked off on 21st September 2019 at the Expo Centre, Karachi. The event was later moved to other cities, including Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, and Gujranwala. Various professionally trained international stuntmen were a part of this event that improved the image of the country across the globe through motorsports. Famous bikers Dallan Goodman, Nick de Witt, and Grog Bergren, along with DiDi Bizzaro, showcased their talent in the arena. Moreover, Mountain Dew collaborated with PakWheels and offered an opportunity to the local drifters to showcase their unbelievable skills in the federal capital. The top performer of the night was Taha Ansari on his Skyline R33 GTS. The event was largely appreciated by the audience, and a large number of families attended this thrilling event.
4th Thal Jeep Rally 2019
In 2016, Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) initiated the Thal Jeep Rally to promote tourism in the South Punjab of Pakistan. It has now become one of the most thrilling and sensational rallies held every year. The 4th Thal Jeep Rally was organized from 15th to 17th November 2019. Several veteran racers, including Nadir Magsi and Sahibzada Sultan, participated in the event along with many new local drivers. The race comprised of 190-km+ track that was won by the famous Nadir Magsi and defended his title. The race had stock, prepared, and women’s category. The 2019 rally was the biggest event of its history that was attended by thousands of people.
PakWheels Snow Cross rally 2019
Towards the back end of 2019, PakWheels arranged a Snow Cross Rally in association with Mountain Dew on 28th and 29th December. The highly anticipated event held in the beautiful northern part of the country Swat. It was arranged by PakWheels in support of Frontier 4×4 club in which as many as 60 vehicles participated. In the Category A, Shakeel Barki was declared as the winner of PakWheels Snow Cross Rally 2019.
See the videos to get more info on what happened in 2019
Share your valuable thoughts on the year that just ended and your expectations from the auto sector in 2020. Stay connected with PakWheels for more news from the automobile industry.