After nearly 3 decades of production with zero innovation, Pak Suzuki has finally decided to end the Mehran chapter sensing the upcoming competition from European, South Korean and Chinese manufacturers, thanks to the Auto Policy 2016-21.
Year 2018 will be the final year of production for Suzuki Mehran, which came into existence when Australia won their first Cricket World Cup. Pak Suzuki will be introducing the 660cc Alto as a replacement of Mehran . The aging hatchback will get a ‘Limited Edition’ in its last year of production likely with a few upgrades.
Suzuki Mehran has been a highly successful model and a golden-egg laying duck for Pak Suzuki as despite being overly expensive, it’s the cheapest car available in Pakistan. Preferred for its dirt cheap maintenance and easy availability of spares, Mehran has remained the first choice for people looking for affordable means of transportation and is currently the second best seller in domestic sales chart after Toyota Corolla. According to a report published in Dawn, local vendors have already started the development of parts for Suzuki Alto 660cc. However Pak Suzuki is yet to officially announce the discontinuation of Mehran.
Suzuki Mehran is the second generation of Alto that was globally produced between 1984 to 1988. It remained in production in India by Maruti till 2013, however it was available from just INR 2.78 lac (PKR 4.49 lac) up to INR 3.18 lac (PKR 5.14 lac). Pakistan is the only country in the world where the 2nd generation Alto (Mehran) is still being produced. The 660cc Alto with which Pak Suzuki will be replacing the Mehran, is the 8th generation of Alto.
The retro styled eighth generation Alto was introduced in Japan in December 2014, the vehicle is already available in our market as used JDM import. The new Alto is designed to have a very low fuel consumption, and is 60 kg lighter than the previous generation. Available with a 658 cc inline-three engine, the 8th gen Alto is available with either a 5-speed manual transmission, or a CVT automatic transmission.
There is currently no word on the price or list of equipment that will be offered with the new Alto. However considering the case with the replacement of Cultus with Celerio, one might expect Pak Suzuki to (perhaps) carry on with the Mehran nameplate on the new Alto 660cc. Also its quite likely to be priced well above the current Mehran hence Pak Suzuki might push the prices of Wagon R higher in order to make space for the new Alto 660cc to be priced around PKR 1 million, but its too early to predict anything at this stage.
The Auto Policy 2016-21 has forced Pak Suzuki to do something out of the ordinary. After 2016, the lineup which was full of obsolete cars, is now updated with Vitara SUV, Ciaz sedan, Celerio hatchback (Cultus) and now the replacement of Mehran with Alto 660cc. Stay tuned to CarSpiritPK for more information on the Alto 660cc in Pakistan.