The Corporate Malpractice of Fleecing Customers

The Corporate Malpractice of Fleecing Customers 1

Hyundai-Nishat launched their newest offering in Pakistani market– the Tucson compact SUV on the eve of 11th August in a fully digital launch event that was streamed over its official Facebook page. The vehicle was put on display across its nationwide dealerships on the 12th of August and then the very next day, that is 13th of August, the price of Tucson was increased by Rs 200,000 on both the available variants.

Related: Hyundai Tucson Price Increased by Rs 200,000

Interestingly those who got the vehicles booked on 12th of August on its original price, including those who paid full amount to get the deliveries were also impacted by the insane price hike. The agitated & anguished public response on social platforms was obvious since the price revision was effective from the 12th of August- the very first day of bookings while the company never disclosed how many units were entitled for ‘introductory prices’.

Customers’ reactions on Twitter

This isn’t the first time that we have seen a negative public reaction after a new car launch as such cases have occurred in the past also. The greater blame has to be put on customers themselves, who perhaps get too excited and treat ordinary cars like something from out of this world.

The Corporate Malpractice of Fleecing Customers 6

A look back at recent car launches in Pakistan should open up our eyes, but they won’t. According to the Auto Policy 2016-21, payment at the time of booking a vehicle should not be more than 50% of its total cost and the delivery of vehicles should be within two months. Also, the car assemblers will be bound to pay a price at Kibor plus 2% prevailing at the date of final delivery in case the delivery of cars to the consumers is delayed. Interestingly however, Indus Motor Company (IMC) initiated the bookings of Toyota Yaris sedan in March 2020 requiring 100% advanced payment while people still rushed to book the vehicle in large numbers.

The Corporate Malpractice of Fleecing Customers 7

In April 2019, Pak Suzuki unveiled the Alto 660cc at Pakistan Auto Show (PAPS 2019) without having the need to show its interior. All the display units at the show were locked and had black tinted windows so no one could tell exactly what sort of equipment was on offer. The company didn’t even reveal its features, available trims, equipment or even prices but still initiated the booking against a sum of Rs 500,000 and customers rushed to book the vehicle in innumerable numbers.

Related: Is It Game Over for Pak Suzuki Alto?

Then the prices of Alto were revised up to 3 times within the next 6 months and the company was allegedly demanding extra amount on the pre-booked units as reported by various customers. According to unofficial sources it took several months for the company to deliver the thousands of pre-booked units while the multiple price revisions helped the company secure a huge sum of profits.

The Corporate Malpractice of Fleecing Customers 8

Going further back into the past, Honda Atlas collected PKR 5 billion in form of pre-bookings of the 10th generation Civic in June 2016 without having to put the vehicle on display. Approximately 5,000 potential buyers booked the Civic X by depositing Rs 1 million (non-refundable) just after seeing its photo on the advertisement. And within just 2 months of its introduction in Pakistan, Civic orders were completely booked for year 2016. Later consumers were seen posting images and videos of the substandard built quality & complaining about the miserable fit & finish and lack of presence of basics such as insulations & trunk-lining etc in the most expensive Honda Civic model in Pakistan to date.

Related: Hyundai Tucson vs Kia Sportage in Pakistan

The above are only a few of the examples shared whereas such cases occur probably after majority of new cars launches in the country. And now again people are going through the same dilemma as they will have to pay the extra amount to the company.

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Perhaps we as consumers, get too excited about new cars since all that we want is to show off. People are least concerned about the equipment or the quality of the cars which they buy spending a huge amount of money, majority don’t even test-drive the cars before making up their minds perhaps they don’t care about the money being spent either as all that is required is a glistering car which can portray a praiseworthy impression on the onlookers.

Related: Pakistan-Bound Hyundai Elantra and Tucson will be Obsolete Before Launch

The Tucson might be a new model for us but as per global standards it’s almost a 6-years old vehicle that made its debut at Geneva Motor Show back in March 2015. Now reaching the end of its production run, the next generation Tucson is likely to make its world debut later this month and will probably make the newly-launched Hyundai Tucson in Pakistan an obsolete model.

The Corporate Malpractice of Fleecing Customers 10
Current generation Hyundai Tucson made its debut at 2015 Geneva Motor Show

With the absence of check & balance on carmakers and the auto industry, the consumers will continue to be fleeced like this. Perhaps they need to be more vigilant about making new car bookings else get prepared to be scammed again in future.

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About UsmanAnsari

A 3d animation professional with over 19 years of industry experience, an avid car enthusiast, petrolhead and social media influencer. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com

View all posts by UsmanAnsari
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Guy
Guy
2 months ago

As a foreigner in Pakistan I find thjs very hard to believe how it is possible for people to fall into these traps not even test driving the cars unless they are money to throw away and if that is so give the money to charity after all a car is there to get you From A to B that’s the bottom line

Guest
Guest
2 months ago

By all aspects of the transportation sector in Pakistan is too powerful that the consumer holds no voice. This includes the oil refineries, oil marketing companies, petrol pumps, car manufacturers, intercity buses and local buses, truckers who routinely overload, rickshaw qingqi uber careem and even the plain old kali taxi. All of them are exploitative towards the consumer and there is practically no proper public transport either. In this case the Supreme Court holds much power and constitutionally assigned mandate to safeguard public interest which it regularly uses in many respects by taking suo moto. It is the right time… Read more »

Heels
Heels
2 months ago

In the last photo, the model on the right is wearing heels at least 2-3 sizes too big for her. It is too dangerous while also visually disgusting.
For best crash safety, must wear snug-fit shoes.

Salman88
Salman88
2 months ago

at least you guys have courage to speak up openly. sad you don’t get traffic as much as u deserved