We have often written about cars that were introduced in Pakistan after getting discontinued from the rest of the world, or the extraordinarily prolonged production span which often exceeds a decade, but now let’s talk about the generation models that were completely skipped from being introduced in our country.
Related: Globally Retired Cars in Pakistan
If you haven’t observed already, automobiles in modern era are generally having a 6-year life span. After three years in the market, they are refreshed with minor add-ons which include visual as well as functional enhancements – often referred as MMC (Minor Model Change) or simply Facelift. The facelift helps keep the model fresh for another few years before the new generation model replaces it.
Understanding Vehicle Generations
Car generations refer to the lifecycle of a design for that specific make and model. The equipment, upholstery and exterior trim is usually determined by the trim level, however the car generation often defines the platform, the engines, drivetrains, chassis, body styles and aesthetic theme of that vehicle. While visual enhancements can be easily incorporated using facelifts, automakers need to introduce a new generation model mainly to keep along with the global standards, to meet the stringent regulations of markets where they are sold as well as to meet ever-evolving safety and emission standards which is extremely difficult to meet if they keep themselves stuck to a same generation model.
Now that you know what a vehicle generation is, let us look at the generation models that were skipped from being introduced in our market.
Suzuki Ravi/ Bolan
Generations skipped: 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th
Skipped generations of Suzuki Carry pickup & van
The Suzuki Ravi/ Bolan that we have here is actually the pickup and minivan iterations of the 7th generation Suzuki Carry which was produced between 1979 and 1985. By 1985 it was already replaced by a new 8th generation model. However Pak Suzuki has been “assembling” the 7th gen Carry for over 40 years and ironically today both these four-decade old vehicles are available for PKR 1 million & more.
The 12th gen Suzuki Carry
The Suzuki Carry is currently in its 12th generation which means over all these year, Pak Suzuki has proudly skipped the 8th gen (1985-91), 9th gen (1991-99), 10th gen (1999-2013) and 11th gen (2013-19). The longer, wider & restyled latest 12th gen model debuted in Indonesia in 2019 making our 7th gen Carry iterations (Ravi & Bolan) 5 generations behind the current model.
Generations skipped: 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th
Suzuki Alto generations that were skipped by Pak Suzuki
Each generation of Alto hatchback was available with different names in our market. The 1st gen Alto was called as FX here, the 2nd gen was labeled as Mehran and continued for nearly 30 years before being replaced by the 8th gen Alto in 2019. And between 2000 and 2012 Pak Suzuki sold the 5th gen Alto in parallel to the 2nd gen model aka Mehran.
Related: Suzuki Alto- Then and Now
Although the third gen Alto better known to us as Mini Alto that was produced between 1988 and 1994 did appeared in our market (imported) under the Yellow cab scheme of the 90s, but it was never offered by Pak Suzuki itself. Similarly the 6th and 7th gen models arrived here as used JDM imports and were never assembled locally. So for Alto, the generations that got skipped by Pak Suzuki were the 3rd gen (1988-94), 4th gen (1994-98), 6th gen (2004-2009) and 7th gen (2009-2014).
Generations skipped: 3rd
The 3rd gen Suzuki Swift
Pak Suzuki introduced the 2nd gen Swift in Pakistan in January 2010. Interestingly this generation made its debut back in 2004 at Paris Motor Show and was already replaced by the newer 3rd generation model elsewhere by the time Pak Suzuki decided to bring it to Pakistan.
That 3rd gen Swift was produced internationally between 2010 and 2016 maintaining the standard 6-year cycle as mentioned earlier, and was replaced by the 4th gen Swift in December 2016. Now with the 4th gen Swift already more than three years old internationally, Pak Suzuki having completed skipped the 3rd gen model, is still selling us the 16 year old 2nd gen Swift against PKR 2.14 million that too without a single airbag on offer.
Generations skipped: 8th
The 8th gen Toyota Corolla
Indus Motor Company (IMC) was incorporated in December 1989 and began rolling out the locally assembled 7th gen Toyota Corolla from May 1993. However the 7th gen that was already available in international markets since June 1991 was replaced by the 8th gen Corolla in May 1995; just 2 years after IMC started their operations in Pakistan.
Related: Remembering the Toyota Corolla E90
The 7th gen Corolla better known as Indus Corolla remained on sale in Pakistan for 9 years (1993-2002), the longest production period for any locally assembled Corolla generation. It was replaced in 2002 by the 9th generation Corolla since IMC altogether skipped the 8th gen model (1995-2002) for Pakistan. Better still we got these reaching our roads in shape of used JDM imports.
Generations skipped: 6th
The 6th gen Honda City
Honda Atlas introduced the 5th gen City in Pakistan in January 2009 hardly 4 months after it made its world debut. However since then, thanks to the absence of competition the company has been dragging the same car which in 2020 has entered its 12th year of production (read assembling) in our country.
In international markets the 6th gen City debuted in late 2013 and was available till 2019. Honda launched the latest 7th gen City sedan in November 2019 which after Thailand was scheduled to be launched in India (March 2020) however the launch was postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic. The vehicle is slated to reach other global markets starting from India & Malaysia towards the middle of this year.
Related: Honda and Facelifts- Then & Now
In Pakistan Honda Atlas has completely skipped the 6th gen City. However it somehow made its way in our country in limited numbers, thanks to used JDM imports as the vehicle is known as Honda Grace back in its home market.