Pakistan loses interest in Suzuki Wagon R as people stop buying it

When you sell a car worth well over a million rupees, it is but only a courtesy to the buyers to include basic pre-modern stuff such as the power windows, SRS Airbag, and ABS. These latter two  items constitute the most basic of the (safety) features available in cars. Especially when you’re selling econoboxes which have no purpose, no soul and no energy to offer, except to take the passenger from point A to point B, you should make up through other means rather than just rely on the fact that there is no one but us in the market; we are the supreme leader in hatchbacks; we will win.

Just 20 units of Wagon R were produced in December 2014 down from 714 produced previously in July the same year, Suzuki is controlling their inventory because obviously, the previously produced stock is becoming a hard sell. 20 units speak a lot about how Pakistanis buy vehicles these days. Times have changed for the good now. I think the buyers have taken the tagline of Wagon R  “Be Practical” to heart and have literally become practical in their buying decisions.

“We believe the sharp decline in Wagon R sales is the result of the increased import of small used cars in the country,” Pak Suzuki spokesperson said firmly. “Our plans, investments have all been disrupted by the import of used cars.

“We have been requesting the government to control the import of used cars. Otherwise, the local industry will continue to feel the brunt,” he said.

There is a product life of a car, which is why a generation of vehicle never lives beyond 7-8 years during which time, companies are undertaking various design, research and development activities to produce the next best seller in the mass produced vehicle segment, except Pak Suzuki, which does not. It is just an assembler, which assembles vehicles and not actually produce them, however, things are changing as Pak Suzuki races to catch up with the new trend within the buyers, who now make informed decisions and buy the imported Toyota Vitz, Daihatsu Mira, Toyota Passo, et cetera instead of the tin cans produced by Pak Suzuki.

Toyota Indus Motors has also announced that it wants the piece of this category, they have repositioned their only car Corolla and will phase out the base-model-still-no-power-window XLi to make room for the Vios and Vitz in Pakistan. It’s happening, and the people and informed buyers are behind it.

Even the Honda Civic has taken a hit. Its production and sale are also decreasing gradually from 755 units produced and 631 units sold in July 2013 to just 292 produced and 173 sold in July 2014. This new 9th generation Honda Civic hasn’t been a successful model and Honda even went with an emergency facelift just one year after the current generation was introduced.

So here’s hoping that Pakistani automakers would get ahead of the game of imported cars and introduce them here before the importers bring it. And as far as we remember, car importers also brought the Wagon R in Pakistan before Pak Suzuki, it didn’t even fare so well at the time.

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Baber K. Khan

An auto enthusiast trying to bring car media mainstream.

  • MSUH

    You should have highlighted the lack of knowledge people have, many are
    still preferring Cultus over Wagon R, Cultus sale is above 1000 unit per
    month still. I have Wagon R and in all departments Wagon R is better
    than Cutlus hands down (I am not saying that because i have it, I have
    used both EFI and non Efi cultus, they both were great but its time is
    way more than over now).

    Wagon R is new it will take time to
    establish its market, it is nothing like people have rejected it, It is
    Pak suzuki marketing is at fault here, which has produced way too many
    units prior to the orders without realizing the slow market and
    reluctance of our society to accept new things.

    Gradually people will understand that there are more things to a car rather than just a
    Shape and Wagon R will have its own market in few months.

  • Umer

    Couple of days ago pakwheels was saying that locally industry is facing a growth of 11% now everything is in decline. What is the source of your data. You should mention the source as well for maintaining good research ethic.

  • Tayyeb Sheikh

    Suzuki Car Prices so high. Itnay paiso mai achy options wali Japaness Imported car banda le le:)

    Jis mai minimum Air Bag and ABS tau ho na. Suzuki Cars are just like scrape in Pakistan

  • Moeed

    Just imagine you can get imported Honda Life at around the same cost and its a way better car than Wagon R.

  • MasroorGilani

    Another transformation in users preference is taking place and that is demand for automatic transmission. Previously AT variants of Corolla were available readily or with minimum waiting period, but now all auto variants waiting time is at least five-six months, one to two months more than manual transmission variants (Islamabad region).

    I completely agree with with the author that Pakistani manufacturers now have to offer full version of the cars, not the usual stripped down, outdated stuff and accessories.

  • Saad R.

    Why dont we have new variants like the Honda Jazz hybrid? I am sure it would be an instant hit

  • H.A

    Hey there… i hope you were serious when u said ”people will gradually understand that there are more things to a car than just the shape” , beacause in that case wagon R would not stand a chance. Man, we are talking about a car with a cost of over a million rupees which does not even have air bags or ABS and last but not the least, it doesnt even have a shape. In short, its not worth the amount it asks for.

    People have actually rejected wagon R. Its not the reluctance of our society to accept new things, people have actually started buying smart and they consider better, much better, options in the same price. The suzuki spokes person accepted his failure the moment he said ”We believe the sharp decline in wagon R sales is the result of the increased import of small used cars in the country.” The guy is indirectly accepting that his product is so pathetic that people prefer to buy ‘used’ imported cars(which as a matter of fact have basic safety features and some other features too). Wagon R is facing more competition by its imported japanese counterparts than by cultus or any other car, so its reduced sale has more to do with people buying imported cars. Just clairifying, thats not lack of knowledge, in fact it is smart spending.

    I dont mean to offend you but it seems as if you are being judgemental and unrealistically optimistic about wagon R’s success just because you have brought one.

  • Well i believe Wagor R is one of the most impractical cars ever launched in Pakistan. Pak Suzuki has been manipulating customers by offering too high prices and giving a bunch of shit. Pak suzuki still believes that people will buy this “too practical car” in 9.5 lacs which donot have air condition ! they are out of their minds.

    i myself bought this Faw V2 , which is 1300cc giving fuel average upto 18km per litre. consists Airbags, keyless entry, Airbags, Abs brakes, immobiliser, Led Lamps, i have driven it upto 170km/h and its road grip is better than Suzuki Swift.

  • Geekpk

    Wagon R failed because of its shape otherwise cultus would be a flop too but it is selling well according to PAMA data.

  • haroon

    This car ‘s day to day operational cost is very low instead, if we compare with importes so called 600 cc used & accidental dinkeys. I have seen many owners of small cars installing cng kits even in these days when cng become so scarstic (Karachi). Unfortunately in Pakistan people follow the band wagon effect, if someone’s child in family gets successful after having certain qualification then rest of elders also put thier offsprings into that qualification without realizing its future impact. Its not the car that lacks practicility that’s people’s mentality that needs to be matured.

    Buyingan imported car is not investment or smart buying rather its taking a risk, big risk.

  • Umar Sheraz

    what about xli, gli and city they cost more than 1.5million but still dont have safety bags, abs, immobilizer etc corolla is one of the most stolen cars in Pakistan i am supporting the statement of suzuki rep but just saying why only wagon r almost all the cars dont have basic security and safety features and we are still going after resale shit so its time we should reject all those vehicle which dont have basic features of safety and security

  • haroon

    This article shows only the thoughts of author about the car including his own preferences. This really does not relates with the people’s approach towards buying a car.
    Author should have done some research before writing this worthless article as there are numerous number of this car on roads on daily basis. Secondly who ever i come across with on daily basis, people are rather reluctant to buy imported exhaustive vehicle & prefer buy locally assembled car. Its still better than accidental & old vits unregisted which costs 14 lacs approx.

  • kamran usman

    I totally agree with Haroon. The author didn’t do basic math that people in Pakistan do not buy a car in December and wait for the new year to get a ‘newer’ model – otherwise, the author should appreciate that Suzuki has actually upped their game and introduced WagonR which is much better than outdated khataras like Alto and Cultus.

    I am not saying Suzuki is doing ideal job. It should at least include passenger airbags and let go a little from the heavy profit they make. But yar kia karein ministers ko bhi to her sale per kickback dena hota hai na uska margin kahan se nikalein 🙂

    New car is much better / economical than imported repainted maal any day especially WagonR (minus the Air bags – which should imho atleast be an optional addon for people who would like to pay for it).

  • kamran usman

    I second that. Someone I know (educated, manager in multi-national) bought zero meter crappy outdated Cultus over WagonR because according to him ‘Cultus look-wise ziada achi hai’ – he has a family and I was surprised that he didn’t look at all the plus points of WagonR (immob, fuel economy, performance, abs, etc)

  • Kamran Khan

    The market is just taking it’s due time to digest this mordern day vehicle, with a current age engine technology. The same product is a super hit in countries like India & Malaysia. This vehicle will make it’s mark becuase of it’s strong fundamentals like fuel efficiency, space etc, which are very important to the local market. The fancy add ons are not as important as the engine and fundamentals of a vehicle.
    This vehicle will surely make it’s mark in the near future.

    Kamran Khan

  • well the reality of Pakistan is , We are facing a model of Monopolistic Automobile industry , Where Suzuki is concentrating on 800cc and 1000cc category , Toyota is producing 1300cc, 1600cc, 2400cc , 2700cc and Honda is producing 1300CC ,1500cc and 1800cc..! we barely see any choice for customers here.
    This is the main reason behind manipulation of Consumer by charging them high Prices.

    In order to break this monopoly, New automobile companies should enter Pakistani market like Hyundai did in 2000 and flowed the market with Hyundai Santro , like FAW did in 2012 , and now we see a trend of customers changing their Suzuki Bolan and Suzuki Ravi with FAW XPV and FAW carrier, Which are way too better than them and have high quality and performance when compared to Suzuki.

    When we come to AfterSales service or Avaliabilty of SpareParts , We can see FAW has built its 15 dealership all over the country .

  • Abdullah

    Sir you yourself owns a FAW showroom. How can your word be taken with significance?

  • Saqib Sabih

    The major reason is the same Wagon R in India cost 4.5 lakh only (fully loaded version with ABS and Airbags). Converted into Pakistani currency its price should be not more than 7.5 lakh. Paksuzuki is charging us 10 lakh with some major features missing in it. So its pretty obvious that Paksuzuki is thuging people of Pakistan.Same as Toyota company charging very high prices for its car with major features missing. Only Honda reduced its prices last year due to reduction in dollar rate and still maintaining it. People should boycott both Paksuzuki and Indus Toyota products as they are looting us.

  • Asif

    Dear Noor,
    I also want to buy new car under 10 lacs.

    Please share your experience of V2 (Price+tax+registration), and write detailed review on pakwheels,
    this will help all of us a lot

  • My words has proved to be significant on its own when Wagon R price has decreased to 100,000 rs. When people of Pakistan themselves have made their decision..

  • aka111

    i would prefer even an accidental japanese car rather than these cheap tin cans. but u are wrong. there are many good low mileage vehicles in the showrooms. they are more durable and last longer than a zer metre suzuki (rikshaw). All parts of vitz are availble and are very affordable. 14 lac kee car 5 to 6 years tak araam say chal jaatee hai. aur kia chahiyeh !

  • nonchalant

    problem is i cant bare wagon Rs, carry dabba face. I can be willing to spend on a japanese car rather than just going for economy.

  • Rizwan Qureshy

    Beta app Shadi bhi apney gher ki Massi sai hi karna. Nakray nai karey gi, low maintenance, high performance, awaz nahi karey gi, shor nai karey gi, inexpensive, aur mileage, us ki tu kia baat hai. Jitna pailoo kum…hai na … Be Practical Bhosrikay

  • SK

    Hey, fully loaded Wagon-r costs Indian rupees 4.25 Lakhs, I can say because I bought one. The basic version costs Rupees 3.5 lakhs. This is the most popular car in India. These are on road prices. This is the most real value family car and definitely practical. A must buy for a family of four. Man, auto industry is milking you guys like hell. Good luck. Stop importing cheap junk, there was a time in late 1990’s when the issue of allowing import of cheap second hand cars came up in india. The government decided against it which allowed the domestic car industry to flourish. And in a span of one and half decades, Indian auto industry has transformed completely.

  • I will prefer not to buy a Pakistani made or assembled car but I’m forced to do so because I have no other option left.

    1000CC Pakistani assembled car costs around 10 lac 80K (including registration & withholding tax). On the other hand 1000CC Vitz will costs around 14 – 16 lac depending upon its condition, grade & mileage. The only benefit or advantage to buy a Pakistani assembled car is that you can easily get its spare parts, mechanics and after sales services anywhere in Pakistan. But when it comes to imported cars, they are loaded with tons of features but their spare parts are too expensive.

    One of the main advantage of Pakistani made cars is that whenever you will buy a new car, you will get 2 years manufacturer warranty. And if you wish to sale your car within warranty time frame, its very much easier for you to sale your car on a good price. Even the person buying the car would not inspect it much. But you are loosing many features like ABS, Air Bags etc.

    The biggest disadvantage of buying an imported car is that you are not aware what happened to the car before, how it was used and whats its current situations. Once you will make the payment on the showroom, then the car is with you and you can no more claim or redeem any perks. NO WARRANTY, NO PEACE OF MIND.

    In my opinion, local manufacturers are not responsible for high prices. Taxes are too much high on automobile industry. For example, if you buy Suzuki Mehran… Its today price is around 693,000 including 200,000 taxes in various form on the assembled car. Manufactures are also paying taxes on spare parts import, engine kits and a lot of other stuff.

    Govt. will never restrict the import of cars cuz according to a rough estimate 600 – 800 CC imported car bearing Custom Import Fee around 500,000 to 600,000 whereas Govt. is just getting 200,000 to 300,000 tax from locally assembled car.

    Now you can judge yourself what you have to buy and who is responsible for Suzuki Mehran on the roads in 2016. And we will keep seeing Suzuki Mehran, Cultus and WagonR on the roads till 2030 unless manufactures starts making engines, kits, spare parts and other stuff locally.

  • Imran Shafqat

    Please suggest me which option is better
    A. Suzuki wagon r
    B. FAW V 2.
    Please help…..i have no option of imported cars……

  • Pk IJ

    Hun Gal Karo…. Wagon R hi Wagon R ho gai hai her Jaga…. When you are in the city every 3rd car is Wagon R, when you are on Karachi Lahore road, you see a lots of Trucks loaded with Wagon R. Price is also increase for the second time this year, and Booking Period as told by Dealership is at least 5 months…. Is it the same Car…..

  • Lara Croft

    FAW V2, simply because it has safety features and fog lights. Better design as well.