Pakistani auto consumers are long deprived of affordable quality sedans since several years. While the Auto Policy 2016-21 has pushed the auto manufacturers to offer something new, all that we have seen up until now are luxury cars mostly above PKR 2.5 million price bracket.
The cheapest new comer so far is the Pak Suzuki Ciaz sedan, the car is priced at PKR 16.9 lac for the manual and PKR 18.39 for the automatic variant, which to be honest is still quite on the higher side. The existing Honda City model, which was launched back in 2009 remains the cheapest & most affordable sedan available in Pakistan which starts from PKR 15.23 lac for the base 1.3 liter variant, and is quite overpriced compared to what it offers.
Just for the sake of comparison the all new 2017 Honda City which is the 6th generation model, starts from INR 8.69 lac in India which translates in PKR 13.79 lac, and is nearly PKR 1.5 lac cheaper than the 9 year old 5th gen City available in our country.
Now that the Ciaz has been launched in Pakistan with a rather high price tag, considering the fact that Pak Suzuki won’t be assembling the sedan locally for at least 3 years, the only hope to get cheap and affordable sedans is to wait for Chinese companies to come into act. Although several Chinese companies have shown interest in setting up their production bases in Pakistan, after the new auto policy has been announced, we have yet to see any concrete development in this regard.
Chery remains one of China’s oldest player in the export markets and they were in business in Pakistan with their partner Karakoram motors during the last decade, but the company has now gone into hibernation mode. Like most Chinese manufacturers Chery has been producing some stunning vehicles compared to what they used to produce back in those days. We have covered their popular Arrizo5 sedan which starts from just PKR 9.25 lac (converted) and is making a huge impact in other countries. Now Chery has introduced the sporty version of the Arrizo5 in China equipped with a turbocharged engine.
The Arrio5 Sport gets sporty front & rear bumpers, side skirts, new alloys, rear spoiler, blacked roof, red brake calipers and red accents in the interior. The car also comes with sporty colors not offered with the standard Arrizo5 versions. The engine is a 1.5 liter turbo with 144hp and 210nm, mated to either a five-speed manual or a CVT gearbox. The Arrizo5 Sports is priced from 76,900 yuan (PKR 11.56 lac) to 97,900 yuan (PKR 14.72 lac) for the top of the line version. The standard Arrizo5 however starts from just 58,900 yuan (PKR 9.25 lac).
It however remains to be seen if Chery makes a comeback in Pakistan. Karakoram already has a collaboration agreement with Chery to produce Right Hand Drive vehicles in Pakistan, if they somehow manage to launch the Arrizo5 sedan and price it lower than the base Honda City then it will become a huge success. But if Chinese companies try to cash in the flow, by launching these affordable cars at outrageous prices just like the Japanese, then they will never be able to become successful here.