Suzuki Is Ready To Invest In Pakistan Only If The Upcoming Auto Policy Favors Them


We have been making quite a noise lately about the latest activities in our local Pakistani automobile scene. Local automakers are bringing new models, and some of the European automakers are interested in entering the Pakistani market. We are like a kid who is getting excited about the prospect of visiting the local toy store. The Russians, the French and the Italian have met with Pakistani officials and expressed their interest in launching their passenger cars in Pakistan. As far locally operating Japanese carmakers are concerned, Honda Atlas is gearing up to bring imported HR-V in the Q1 of 2016 along with the possible launch of the 10th Generation 2016 Honda Civic. One of our regular bloggers and PakWheels member Fazal Wahab did a review of the new Honda Civic. You can read his review in the link mentioned below. Toyota Indus Motors might introduce locally assembled Vitz and Toyota Vios as well in next couple of years. And we talked about Pak Suzuki replacing its mighty Cultus with an international model of Suzuki Celerio. Sales of the locally assembled cars have increased 66pc in first five months of the current fiscal year compared to first five months of last fiscal year.

Also Read: 10th Generation Honda Civic Review By A PakWheeler

But it seems like Pak Suzuki has something else in store for us as well. Suzuki Celerio was launched with a 1-liter petrol and a smaller diesel engine internationally. And when it comes to Pakistan, there is a high probability that Pak Suzuki will use the same 1-liter engine in it as well. We need smaller and lighter on petrol engines in Pakistan anyway! The latest news is that Suzuki Japan, the parent company of Pak Suzuki, will be launching two more models in addition to their current line. A Suzuki 660cc car and a 1.6 liter smaller SUV.

Suzuki Celerio Launch (1)

Basically, Suzuki is willing to invest around USD 430 million in Pakistan. USD 110 million of the total investment will be spent on setting up the assembly line for the new vehicles and assembling them. Rest of USD 320 will be used to construct spare parts making plant by Suzuki. The global head of the Suzuki Motors Japan, Kinji Saito, met with Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi, the Federal Minister of Industry and Production, in Islamabad on Tuesday and expressed company’s interest in investing in Pakistan. You think it’s awesome?! Wait till you hear the full news. But before that, let’s talk about those potential new cars.

Suzuki has a handful of options when it comes to a smaller 660cc car. They can easily launch the newer Japanese shape Alto with the Suzuki 660cc engine (7th generation). That would be great. Or even use the previous shape of Alto (6th generation). We have gotten used to decades old Suzuki cars anyway! So it’s not like anyone is going to mind the shape of the car that was launched in the same century. Or even the latest shape, that Alto that looks like old Suzuki FX on steroids with a snubbed nose. But that’s just wishful thinking. Even people at Pak Suzuki will be laughing at this idea. So maybe not that. This new Suzuki 660c car will be priced around the price of Pak Suzuki’s crown jewel, the Mehran. Mehran costs something like 6.3 lacs. So one of those new Altos with smaller engines makes sense in the plus-minus of that price (PKR 7 lac maybe).

I would love to see a Suzuki 660cc Hustler Kei car on the roads of Pakistan, but that is never gonna happen.


And as far as 1.6 liter SUV is concerned, one name that immediately pops into the head is ‘Jimny’. We already have one of those, though. I wasn’t sure if Pak Suzuki is still selling Jimny but according to their website, they are. And that small three-door 4×4 costs eye-watering PKR 2,293,000 (Jimny JLDX M/T). Although I doubt any sane person would buy this car for his or her personal use. They are usually bought by governmental departments or large construction firms of some sort etc. There is Suzuki Vitara as well, but I doubt it will make its way into Pakistani market. Since crossovers are a big fad nowadays, my money is on Suzuki SX4 S-Cross. It’s a five-door crossover that is sold with a 1.6-liter engine internationally. It is also offered with optional four-wheel drive version of Suzuki as well. In the UK, it starts from GBP 14000 to GBP 25000 depending on the options (engine, transmission, trim level, etc.). A crossover makes sense, I believe. Make it a hybrid and you’ve got a winner.

Now time to burst all your 660 and 1600 cc bubbles. In one of my previous blogs, I mentioned how Japanese officials are lobbying hard to make sure their companies are well taken care of in wake of the new auto policy. When those Toyota Prius cars were ‘donated’ to Pakistan, the Japanese ambassador to Pakistan specifically told Pakistani officials that interests of Japanese carmakers in Pakistan must be taken care of. Suzuki wants same relaxations Pak government is going to offer in the upcoming auto policy to those carmakers who have shown interest in coming to Pakistan. The new investment is tied to the bottom line that how well Suzuki is catered in the new auto policy. Basically, we can say bye-bye to this multimillion investment and new models if Suzuki is not given the same incentives. Saito mentioned that Pak Suzuki will kill the Mehran in next five years as well if new models start to roll out. So if there are no incentives, that means no investment, and we are once again stuck with Mehran…maybe for the rest of our lives. No locally assembled Suzuki 660cc cars for us!

Related: Pakistan Auto Policy Has Started A Tug Of War Between The Japanese And The Europeans

I have said this before, and will say this again. Japanese automobile manufacturers have been in Pakistan for a long time. Pakistani car market is essentially a Japanese car market. Our auto sector is in Japanese vice. People here in Pakistan love their Japanese cars. And rightfully so. Japanese cars are robust and last a lifetime. Japanese should have trust in their products. Why are they so scared? They are effectively blackmailing Pakistan government, for lack of a better term. If some European manufacturer does come to Pakistan, it would have an insane uphill battle to fight and make its place in our Corolla-filled hearts. I must say, Japanese are acting like a grown kid who is feeling threatened by the arrival of the new child.

C’mon Suzuki, don’t be such a …. hey look, a duck!



Writing about cars and stuff.

  • Ali

    The Japs are practicing corporate arrogance by selling outdated, unsafe vehicles at exorbitant rates through blackmail in Pakistan. The new auto policy must safeguard the rights of the consumers at all costs, which should make the provision of safety features such as airbags, for both front and back passsengers, and ABS as mandatory on all vehicles plying the roads of Pakistan. Furthermore, the government should allow car manufacturers from other countries to offer affordable reliable vehicles in the 1.0l to 1.3l categories to cater for the needs of lower to middle income consumers and break the monopoly of the ‘Big Three’ that are fleecing its customers with low quality products at ridiculously exorbitant rates. But then, this may all be wishful thinking unless there is a change of mindset both in government quarters and amongst the consumers.

  • Usman

    Nothing expected from the government at the moment! Agar europeans waqai interested hain to unhein chahiye ke pehle kisi related bande ko dollar dikha ke ram karein!

  • Usman

    Clearly a wrong article with full of miss perceptions.

  • Usman

    Suzuki is not launching any of the products mentioned above. They will launch products for the betterment of our local car market but not any 1 mentioned above.Please dont mislead people with such foolish posts which has no sense in it.

  • Atif

    The article published on Tribune plans to replace Cultus and Mehran in the next five years….people do not get carried away…this is Paksuzuki after all

    Paksuzuki has been availing concessions since 1980s. They are the government’s baby, they have been given taxi scheme and suzuki pickup contracts mulitple time by the PML-N…and now they want “New Entrant” incentives….please!!!

    New entrants should be given heavy incentives with low localization requirements incentives. India pulled in various companies by reducing localization requirements initially to just 10% and allowed SKD…Pakistan does not allow SKD’s, only CKD’s

  • kashan

    i agree with you.

  • Usman

    Yes but the replacements aren’t the one mentioned in the article above. Auto policy will only reflect whether Suzuki would invest in Parts manufacturing or not…rest assured they have always been and will continue to bring new products, replace or enhance the current line of products.

  • Shahmir

    Today I saw imported Honda veezel on super highway hyderabad. Probably going to Lahore as mentioned in article.

  • Taimur

    dear blogger Mr. Aref Ali, I do not have your email id, i don’t know either you read comments or not, but i want you to please write a blog about ” What’s in the current Auto policy which is not favorable for new entrants? ” We are tired of hearing new/ old auto policy , but please elaborate short comings of current Policy……….. Reply me / Email me after reading this comment about what you will do now?

  • وجاہت علی

    i am sure the day will come when pak suzuki will be closed forever!!!

  • Guest

    The photograph of 6th gen Alto has been shown, it is a good car with lots of interior space while small on the outside.

    But the number one need of Pakistani public is a car with high ground clearance, Which this car lacks.

    The SX4 hatch would do.

    About Suzuki modernizing. They could update the engine in Swift to K12M. Elsewhere they have better engine so why waste-spark engine in Pakistan?

    The Vitara was not successful elsewhere does not mean it would be unsuccessful here too.

    They should at least replace that van and that micro truck. These vehicles see the greatest numbers of miles driven every single day all across Pakistan yet the drivers, passengers, nearby vehicles and pedestrians all suffer the disadvantages of them.

  • Friend

    What purpose would it serve? The purpose is to stop the exploitation, chehray nahen nizaam badlo.

  • AbdulB1

    Suzuki you can take your HQ to India but please don’t try to force your suggestions to our govt for auto policy as we Pakistanis have already paid a huge price with your old outdated , unsafe and obsolete vehicles…..

  • cbing

    Just answer me one simple question. What India has anything to do with this article, or with suzuki, or with your useless auto policy? Haven’t you guys decided not to import any automobiles from India? Then why dragging a country which have no need in your auto scene?

  • AbdulB1

    Suzuki asks the govt of Pakistan to let them import vehicles from India. And I think we should not allow imports in any form as it harms local cars industry’s development.

  • Sanjay Natarajan

    Yep, you are right. As an Indian, I support you.
    Importing parts or a vehicle as a whole hurts the local auto industry very much. So it is wise that in the next government policy they support more automakers by letting them do business in Pak.
    This way, through more and more competition, manufacturers will find themselves under pressure to reduce the prices to win the competition. This may eventually lead to the increased levels of localisation which can reduce the costs further.
    Both the customer and auto makers and the supporting auto components industry will flourish as well.
    Though Maruti Suzuki’s build quality and pricing is better than Pak Suzuki, if you ask me if I would ever buy a car from Maruti, my answer is a big NO.
    Their quality levels are pathetic all over the world, that some of the world’s biggest auto markets such as the US and Canada kicked out Suzuki. No wonder they did that!!

  • Muhammad Yasir

    the ONLY thing the potential MARKET winner needs to do is to look V.V.closely at the economy dynamics … MAJORITY of the people CANNOT afford cars because even the CRAPPY hatchbacks and PATHETIC mini-cars cost no less than 8 lacs !
    and that alone is a staggering amount !

    just look at what tata is doing in India … focusing on improving the Nano , world’s cheapest car (altho not necessarily considering zotye are competing wit that !)

    whoever takes up THAT EXACT SAME initiative of building one of the world’s CHEAPEST ever car in Pakistan, i’d say they’ll take this market by storm … be it suzuki or any other car-maker from ANY part of the world.

    just look and make what we DONT have (i.e an OUTRAGEOUSLY cheap car) NOT what we already possess aplenty (overpriced and bloody COSTLY cars which the MAJORITY cannot afford!)

  • Muhammad Yasir

    as a pakistani , i’d be VERY interested in owning an Automatic Tata Nano IMPORTED from india , altho i grieve the fact that diplomatic friction has caused various difficulties in cheaply importing ANYTHING from one side to the other …

    since the local manufacturers are YET to offer us ANYTHING like the price or quality of Tata Nano … im yet to be convinced by their potential and effort :/

  • Muhammad Yasir

    i agree with you !

  • Muhammad Yasir

    I Strongly Endorse your views …

  • Muhammad Yasir

    hehe … sahi kaha …
    yaha aese hi kaam chalega 😀

  • Guest

    Don’t know why you have a fantasy with Nano. As a business idea, it is very good.

    But the way you are promoting its quality is beyond comprehension. Nano has had many instances of catching fire. Local car-makers even skimp on cut-outs but instances of fire are rare. In addition, the quality of plastics, fit and finish, etc. is equal to or lesser than the Mehran Paksuzuki is selling.

    Anybody who does the same will not take the Pakistani market by storm. India and Pakistan have very different customer mindset. Indians are more of nationalist and they will support local brand even if the product itself is not on par. For Pakistani, extreme nationalism is not a deep-rooted cultural value when it comes to purchase decisions. Pakistanis are different because they don’t even drool on imports. Just the fact that in their decision, features, durability, repair-ability, looks and resale are much more important than place of origin or manufacture.
    In addition, Pakistanis will not at all buy a car whose shape they do not like. Santro, Liana, Revo and various other examples are part of history. There is limited chance of Nano’s shape to be liked by Pakistani consumer.
    In India the market is quite big because of the geographical size and population. Even if you make something not very appealing, at least enough of it would be sold to keep your business afloat.

    Pakistanis assemble engines very good (whether new or overhaul). The engine precision is comparable to Japanese. Whereas you can buy the same cars in various other countries and their tappets and every other thing can be heard separately. So, yes, somethings are definitely better than others.

  • AbdulB1

    The real problem with cars in Pakistan is not just the price but tax. We pay 100% on local and 200% on imported vehicles. Although I own Japan made alto but one thing is for sure is that the quality of locally made corolla doesn’t even come close, it is due to price and lack of quality control enforcement. Yes I know many people in India now demand quality as seen on Indian TV ads. btw one of my Indian friend’s father also had a VW dealership and he also told me the same about suzuki.

  • Muhammad Yasir

    you actually put it v.nicely , i do fantasize about owning a Tata nano and that is because its the cheapest car most probably … and as a student , its mine and millions of other students’ only option of convenient transport since a bike is a risky vehicle with dangerous accidents always around the corner and nowadays minibuses , esp in Karachi are filled to the brim , making inter-city commuting quite a challenge on its own !

    in times like these , people and students alike are more than likely to look towards a viable option i.e owning a car and Cars in the price range of Tata Nano are improbable to come by …

    i knew well and full of the nano’s shortcomings and techincal blunders … infact i saw a whole documentary on NatGeo which emphasized upon its pros and cons and esp that issue of catching fire (it was an issue with the engine being positioned under the rear seats etc) , but like every other manufacturer they have remedied that issue.

    if Pakistan wants to go one better than their neighbors , why not build a BETTER car costing ROUGHLY the same or even LESS ?!
    and in the meanwhile also correcting all the deformities of shape and aesthetics you mentioned , to make it more appealing to the locals (and possibly foreigners , for potential export opportunity)

    I personally don’t give a damn on how the car looks as long as its engine , suspension , brakes and all the technical , internal components are shipshape and in excellent working condition.
    Ofcourse same cannot be said of the majority consumer but that in itself represents a challenge for the car makers.

    what say , on making the world’s most cheapest (yet nice looking and technically sound) car in our very own country ?

  • Muhammad Yasir

    best day EVER 😀

  • Muhammad Yasir

    hopefully , IF , its closure means a handful (more than 2) of OTHER more reasonable car makers can enter the local market , im all for it !

  • Sanjay Natarajan

    yep, agreed…

  • Sanjay Natarajan

    Yes, I agree that you people are in want of a cheap car like nano, we Indians didn’t support nano by letting it down just because it is cheap. Nobody in India is ready to buy a nano except some intelligent people who compare things before buying a car. Despite being good car, it doesn’t sell at all. After all, it is the cheapest automatic car in the world.Quality levels have improved very much too.

    Indian car buyers are like a herd of sheep, they buy cars just because their neighbour has the same car and they say the car is good, that’s it.

    I feel really sorry for Tata motors that they have invested so much to put the Indian middle class in four wheels, but everything is wasted. The tata nano plant in Sanand, Gujarat is capable of producing 3 lac cars per annum, which is now not even producing 10% of its actual capacity.

  • Muhammad Yasir

    sad…. but this is an opportunity for both sides of the borders
    what say Tata export a few hundred Tata Nanos to Pakistan ?

    to me , its a win-win situation !

  • Sanjay Natarajan

    Yes, of course it is a win-win situation.
    Actually when the nano was launched, tata motors were in talks with the Pak authorities for bringing nano into Pak I guess. Don’t know what happened after that!

  • Muhammad Yasir

    such a shame…
    would love to see nano on local roads

  • Atif

    Vitara was launched in Pakistan back in 2006 as CBU import but failed.

  • Mudassar Iqbal

    Dear, Tata Nano is totally failed in own home town. and you guyz support to import tata nano from india.

  • Muhammad Yasir

    atleast its cheaper than that farce Mehran … which is out of range of the entry-level and budget category ….

    even at 3.5-4 lac , the Nano (preferrably the Automatic Transmission Version) is an absolute winner in Pakistan where the automobile industry is nothing more than a big joke ! (now compare that to India , who have a much better industry than us !)

  • Guest

    Vitara has been coming and going over the years.

    There are methods to make a product successful. But Paksuzuki lacks the knowledge because whatever poo they will produce will get purchased since there are no other options. They are not used to competing.

    They are well-connected enough, they can get many military and civilian contracts to gain traction.

  • shaf

    Govt shouldn’t listen to any such request and should let rather invite other automobile companies come to Pakistan in addition to have a strong auto policy.
    $110m is peanuts for Pak Suzuki and i am sure, if other auto makers also comes to motherland, we can see flood of investment to Pakistan.

    + Pak Suzuki, we have tried you for 45+ years and in case other auto makers comes to Pakistan, i can assure you that you will be left with only two options 1) Invest and take this market seriously 2) quit. We don’t need your friendship lollipop anymore rather we need some quality & safer rides for our roads and people. thanks

  • watta51

    Suzuki, Honda , Toyota already looted Pakistani buyers for 30 years. A lot of lives have been lost due to unavailability of air bags, ABS brake or other safety features. In competitive market Suzuki cant even sell their car in Congo. Now they are blackmailing government in bold decision. Gov should stick to new policy and all old thieves should be kicked off. People of Pakistan and consumer should support gov for safe and updated technology cars.