South Korean automaker Hyundai, having teamed up with Nishat Group is in process of making a comeback in Pakistan. The groundbreaking ceremony of the Hyundai-Nishat vehicle assembly plant at Faisalabad’s M-3 Industrial City took place in December 2017.
The Hyundai-Nishat Motors (Pvt) Limited (HNMPL) venture will see an investment of US $230 Million as the plant is expected to initially produce around 10,000 vehicles per annum by 2020, and will enhance its production to 30,000 units per annum by year 2024.
The construction of the assembly plant is expected to complete by the end of 2019 while the operations will begin in early 2020. HNMPL will reportedly start its assembly operations with H100 1-ton commercial pickup as CKD. The H100 pickup was available in Pakistan during the previous decade, labeled as ‘Shehzore’ and was considered a prime choice in the commercial vehicle market with over 90% market share in its segment.
There are also reports about an ongoing conflict between Daehan-Dewan and Hyundai-Nishat regarding the Shehzore pickup, as the Daehan version now being sold by Dewan is a Chinese iteration of the original H100 pickup, HNMPL intends to bring in the market. Hyundai-Nishat has also labeled the Daehan product as ‘fake’ and will reportedly consider taking the issue to courts.
According to HNMPL’s production plan, in addition to the H100 pickup, the company will introduce Tucson SUV, Kona Crossover and Elantra sedan by 2020. According to a company official, evaluation of a 1000cc hatchback is also underway, however nothing regarding the launch of a budget-friendly options is finalized at this stage. Perhaps because of the fact that profit margins in selling smaller cars are wafer thin, HNMPL is focused towards introducing models that have the potential to return greater profits to the company.
Hyundai’s return to Pakistan is said to boost the government’s efforts to shake up the Japanese-dominated local car market and loosen the grip of Toyota, Honda and Suzuki. The government believes increased competition should bring down exceptionally high car prices in our country.
However from the looks of it, Hyundai won’t create any problems for the existing Big 3 in sub 3.0 million price market as, other than the Elantra, nothing seems to be troubling the existing automakers too much. Elantra with a 1.6 liter engine will primarily compete against the likes of Toyota Corolla Altis or the Honda Civic and is expected to be priced somewhere around PKR 2.5 million mark or more.
Stay tuned to CarSpiritPK for more information on Hyundai’s comeback in Pakistan.