Renault Lodgy – A Much Needed MPV for Pakistan!

If you have been following the local automotive news recently, then probably you are aware of Renault’s plan to enter Pakistan. However, if somehow, you are not entirely informed of this development, here is a little heads-up, Renault has expressed interest to the Board of Investment to launching Duster and Kwid in Pakistan and to start the localized production of vehicles in Pakistan by the year 2018. Renault plans to make this possible by teaming up with Gandhara Group of Pakistan. While we have already discussed about the cars that Renault is interested to bring in Pakistan, we feel that there is another car which has seen the ignorance of Renault in their proposals to Pakistan’s financial institutions, despite being extremely well suited to our market.
Currently, Pakistan’s auto industry is in the middle of a transition, as many automakers pull their socks up to break the big-three monopoly. Moreover, there’s a growing popularity of crossovers in Pakistan. Starting with the Honda Vezel, our market has greeted the CUV form factor with open arms, which is now paving the way for the introduction of various other crossovers like BMW X1, Audi Q2, Suzuki Vitara and Renault Duster. The major selling point of CUVs is SUV-esque utility at a price similar to that of a mid-sized sedan. However, what’s surprising is the continuous ignorance of automakers over MPVs, despite them being immensely successful in emerging markets. In Pakistan, the only three options that come to mind are the Suzuki APV, FAW Sirius and Toyota Avanza, all of which are imported to Pakistan in the form of CBUs. Thanks to a multitude of taxes and duties, their prices skyrocket to the point where buying them just doesn’t make sense.
Renault Lodgy exterior

Renault Lodgy

This is where our pick comes into play, Renault Lodgy, a compact MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) produced and sold under Dacia brand in CIS countries and with Renault branding in India. Lodgy carries a starting price tag of INR 759,000 (PKR 1,200,000), which sets it below the likes of both Toyota Innova and on par with Suzuki Ertiga, helping it create inroads into Indian auto market ever since its launch. It must be noted that Lodgy owes its price primarily to its localized production in India. In our case, eventual local assembly of Renault cars as expressed to BOI may shape things up in a similar fashion. Moreover, in Pakistan, things are much better suited to Lodgy because like I mentioned before there is a prevailing scarcity of compact MPVs in our market.
7 seater Renault Lodgy

Renault Lodgy’s seating arrangement

Talking about the car itself, while design perception depends on personal preference, it goes without saying that orderly design queues help Lodgy stand out from the crowd. In addition to that, Lodgy also fairs well in terms of the overall footprint when compared with the three MPVs of Pakistan. As you can see in the table below, Lodgy outclasses APV, Sirius Grand and Avanza in all four dimensions of comparison. And if you have ever been in the third row of any one of these cars then you most definitely know how important the longer wheelbase is for an MPV.
Lodgy compared

Renault Lodgy VS its comparison in Pakistan

Under the hood, Lodgy in India only comes with diesel engines with an expected gasoline addition next year. While, in other countries where Lodgy is sold, customers can get either a gasoline 1.2-liter turbocharged engine or a 1.6-liter naturally aspirated engine.
Diesel and Petrol Engines of Renault Lodgy

Engine options of Renault Lodgy compared!

Why Renault Scala is not a good fit for Pakistan?

Renault Scala in India

Renault Scala

While many have expressed their desire of seeing Renault Scala in Pakistan, I feel that it would be a suicidal decision. The primary reason for my disagreement is the presence of fierce competition in that price segment. To me, the lack of competing offerings in a certain price point of our market would be the ideal areas for Renault to capitalize. This purpose can be seen best, served by the cars like Kwid, Duster and Lodgy, since all of them will either be sold in a different form factor or will be available for a much lesser price than their competition in Pakistan.
Which Renault car do you want to see launched in Pakistan? Share with us in the comments section below!

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Adan Ali

Adan is a Rising Journalism Sophomore at Northwestern University, with an inclination towards non-political investigative journalism and advertising. He is currently serving as a Research Assistant for the Arab World’s first media museum, The Media Majlis and an Admissions Diplomat at NU-Q. Adan comes with an experience of almost three years in the field of media creation, alongside Dawn, Parhlo, PakWheels, and The Daily Q occupying the roles of an Intern, Guest Writer, and Staff Reporter. Formerly, Adan has served as a Founder and CEO of The Nixor Times, a media and advertising company, besides which, he has offered his services as a Member of Board at Nixor Corporate. He tweets @adanali12 and runs a channel on YouTube.

  • Mohammad Zeeshan Fahd

    I heard they are doing some JV with nissan gandara ….if so then…….sorry for the harsh comment … and I do not mean disrespect only to give them a chance to think it through before they do a second suicide …… “don’t nissan have no one in there team with brain or at least market sense ” …… or they do it on purpose …… look at the nissan international line up of models …. but in Pakistan they introduce only one model sunny which they have failed with so many times …….. I mean look at blue bird a beauty and imports proved that it had far better chances of surviving in our market ….

  • Salman Ahmed

    Pakistani assembled Renault ka Hal wahi Suzuki ki gario wala ho ga

  • Dr. Peter Helskny

    Chinese Automakers can give a very very tough time to other brands from 2018 and beyond .. Because on going CPEC project includes Zoyte, Geely , FAW CAR MANUFACTURING plants under construction in Pakistan in Punjab , Gawadar and Karachi. These companies will start their official production in Pakistan and export cars to UAE and MIDDLE EAST from GAWADAR PORT. These companies produce high end cars and will give massive hard lining to present auto market. Expect launch of 15 new cars in Pakistan starting from 5 lacs to 32 lacs , including SUV’s, Sedans and hatch backs. China is shifting it’s industrial infrastructure to Pakistan owing to incerasing Pollution count in China and Low Jobs in Pakistan. Our future is bright but our Sky will become dull in with-in 5 yeras from now.
    Dr.Peter Helskny

  • Fahad

    Kwid 800cc …and 1000cc on urgent basis. if suzuki monopoly allow them…

  • Sultan Kiani

    I’m an environmentalist and totally agree with your point. Without pollution control measures, these industries would make Pakistan Asia’s most polluted country.

    Btw I don’t think if European Automakers could survive in Pakistan, Chinese (replica) crap is cheaper than EU cars.

  • Sultan Kiani

    سلمان صاحب رینالٹ یورپی کمپنی ہے، یورپین سیفٹی فیچرز کم کرکے بھی ان کی گاڑیاں ناپاک سوزوکی سے کافی اچھی ہوں گی۔ اس وقت بھارت میں جو Kiwid مل رہی ہے وہ مہران سے 2 لاکھ سستی بھی ہے اور کوالٹی میں اچھی بھی۔ ابھی تو بس یہ امید کریں کہ کم از کم ایک یورپین برانڈ پاکستان میں انٹری مار دے ورنہ ہمارے نصیب میں چین کا کچرا ہی ہوگا۔

  • Sultan Kiani

    They should bring one with ‘Eco-Diesel’ motor, it would be awesome to drive a car with 20+ kmpl fuel economy