Earlier this week Kia-Lucky Motors officially launched their first local assembled vehicle– the Sportage SUV in an event held at PC Hotel Karachi. Kia Sportage also becomes the first locally assembled mid-sized vehicle with AWD (All-Wheel Drive) system.
CEO of Kia-Lucky Mr Asif Rizvi while addressing the gathering introduced the Pakistan assembled Sportage to the audience and highlighted some key points including the most important question that comes to our minds as to why begin local production with Sportage instead of any other car?
The Kia-Lucky assembly plant
Kia-Lucky Motors having acquired “Category-A” Greenfield investment status in March 2018 were able to complete their assembly plant within record 17 months. With an investment of US$175 million, the state of the art auto plant having a capacity of 50,000 units per year has already started its operations.
The plant located at Bin Qasim Industrial Park (BQIP) Karachi features hi-tech equipment including painting robots, full body CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine) as well as a 2.5 km test track that mimics Pakistan’s actual road conditions. Not only this, but the Kia-Lucky plant was awarded the highest rating by Kia’s Korean inspection team for adhering to superior quality standards.
The Sportage has been Kia’s best selling product in its global lineup and while the SUVs are the fastest growing vehicle category worldwide, the Sporatge happens to be the world’s fastest growing SUV.
In 2018 Kia sold a total of 2,812,200 vehicles, which is a 2.4% increase over 2017. The Sportage alone saw 501,367 units sold, accounting for 17.8% of company’s total sales. Furthermore in a time when global auto industry is witnessing a decline, the Sportage has recorded a healthy increase in sales.
It is also winner of several prestigious international automotive awards including iF Design Award, Red Dot International Design Award and many Car of the Year awards. So far the Sportage has won 31 international automotive awards, the most achieved by any Kia model.
Pitching it right where they wanted
Asif Rizvi mentions that Kia Sportage will fill a huge gap in the auto market since there is no local assembled vehicle with 2.0 liter engine while there is no local assembled product available between PKR 4.0 to 7.0 million price range, thus the Sportage is there to fill this huge gap. The CEO further adds that they have positioned the Sportage exactly where they wanted.
According to Asif Rizvi, the company has received an overwhelming response from the customers. Limited stock of Sportage units with introductory prices was completely sold out in just 10 days. The CEO is highly optimistic that Kia Sportage, with all its features and equipment is going to do pretty well in Pakistani market. He adds:
“We want to increase the Pakistani consumers’ confidence on locally produced vehicles and Kia will make sure that its products and services attract the consumers to buy locally produced Kia vehicles.”
Asif Rizvi says they plan to achieve 50% localization or similar level to the existing players in at least 5 years, adding that the company had planned to localize 12% parts this year in order to get sustainable growth under stiff economic conditions.
The local assembled Kia Sportage
The Pakistan assembled Kia Sportage comes available in two versions– the FWD priced at PKR 48.99 lac whereas the AWD at PKR 53.99 lac. Both versions carry the same 2.0 liter Gasoline MPI engine that comes paired with a 6-speed Automatic Transmission. The Sportage is backed by Kia’s impressive 4 years/ 100,000 km warranty.
Features include Driver & Passenger Airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Downhill Brake Control, Hill-Start Assist Control, Vehicle Stability Management, ISO Fix Child Anchorage, ABS, Panoramic Sunroof, 7″ Infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay with Bluetooth, Audio/Call, Voice Recognition, Cruise Control, Electric Parking Brake, Engine Immobilizer and Rain Sensors etc.
Kia currently has 15 dealers across the country and it aims to expand the dealership network in all major cities of the country within 3 years. The company is also working on to introduce the 1000cc Kia Picanto hatchback that will take on the likes of Suzuki Cultus in our market.
Click here for complete Kia Sportage gallery from launch event.