The Pakistani market is flooded with crossovers, but there is no denying that consumers are still interested in conventional sedans like Civic and Corolla.
We did get the latest update on the new Honda Civic when the 11th generation Civic was globally released in April 2021. The car is available for sale only in North America, and we can expect a new Civic in Pakistan by mid-2022 or onwards. (Okay, cool!)
Now, the latest 12th generation Corolla made its global debut in late 2018. By September 2019, it was available for sale in Thailand and other ASEAN regions. It’s been 2.5 years since its launch. Technically, by now, we should have the new Corolla in Pakistan. So the question is, Dear Toyota Indus, where is the 12th generation Corolla??
The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 might have caused some developmental delays. However, I think there were some intentional delays by Toyota Indus, a somewhat strategic move. Between you and me, the new Corolla is now on the horizon, and although there’s no official timeline, I suspect & expect it within the next 12 to 18 months. Wait, that’s not the only news. The even bigger news is that we’ll have a Hybrid 12th Gen Corolla before the petrol one. Here’s proof.
Fact 1: Toyota needs major technical and assembly line upgrades for the new Corolla
Let’s first go over the technicalities of the new 12th generation Corolla. Toyota has introduced a Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) for the c-segment vehicles. It’s called the GA-C platform, and it underpins the Corolla family (Corolla sedan, Corolla Hatchback, Corolla Estate/Wagon, Corolla Cross) as well as the current generation Toyota Prius.
The 11th generation Corolla [current PK Model] is based on MC Platform, discontinued globally and replaced with the newer “GA-C”. So, to replace the old 11th generation Corolla with the new 12th generation Corolla, Toyota needs major technical and assembly line upgrades and a lot of investment. That’s where the new auto policy kicks in. You’ll be surprised how Toyota Indus played the auto policy card in this game.
Fact 2: Toyota has won benefits for hybrid cars in the New Auto Policy
We all know that the Government of Pakistan was pushing for fully Electric Vehicles in the new auto policy. What we don’t know is that it was Toyota Indus who pushed for the tax breaks and incentives for the hybrid cars in the new policy. The CEO of Toyota Indus, who also heads the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA), had been very vocal about Hybrids with the members of the association. He met multiple times with government policymakers, even PM Imran Khan, sharing benefits of Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) over Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs).
Toyota Indus promised to invest in hybrid technology and assemble hybrid vehicles locally in Pakistan. This strategic approach worked, and the government at last included HEVs in the new policy. Toyota then thanked the government in multiple media advertisements.
Yes, the hybrid incentives, as per the new auto policy, will not only benefit Toyota but the whole industry. But, it will be Toyota taking advantage right away. With the new auto policy now in action, things have come full circle for Toyota Indus. The policy will help Toyota Indus cover/recover the cost of implementing the GA-C platform as well as bring hybrid cars to Pakistan with lower taxes. Both hints lead to one thing: HYBRID COROLLA.
12th Gen Corolla Sedan
We all have extensive knowledge of the international 12th generation Corolla; what about the one coming to Pakistan? We expect a base model with a 1ZR-FE 1.6L engine with around 120 hp and an upper variant with a 2ZR-FAE 1.8L engine with about 138 hp in Pakistan. As always, these two will sell like hotcakes (because it’s a Corolla), but the hybrid variant will remain as the main attraction and might bring back those consumers who are in the market for crossovers.
As of the hybrid variant of 12 gen Corolla, it carries over everything from the current generation of Toyota Prius. A 2ZR-FXE 1.8L engine with an electric motor and making a combined output of 121 hp with ECVT.
Toyota Indus will offer its Hybrid version as their top variant with the most options and features. Expect it to be priced higher than the current top-of-the-line Altis Grande. Indus will market it as the most fuel-efficient local assembled sedan. The Hybrid Corolla has almost the same fuel efficiency as Prius, approximately 23 kilometers per liter.
When Is It Coming?
The last and the most critical question: when will the new Corolla make it to the Pakistani market? I think that Indus is already working on replacing Corolla, and all the required groundwork is in progress.
Here’s the deal: Toyota Indus was already in the process towards the newer generation Corolla and, at the same time, working on the inclusion of hybrid vehicles in the auto policy. Indus did buy some time by launching the useless facelift earlier this year, Corolla-X. Now that things have fallen into place, we might see the 12th gen Corolla [probably sedan] within a year and possibly by the summer of 2022.
So, will you prefer a 12th Generation Corolla Hybrid or still go for any Crossover?