The choices of buying a brand new automobile in Pakistan are becoming rich as newcomers are ramping up to introduce more & more options as we approach closer to June 2021 when the current auto policy is going to expire.
Although one can argue that there hasn’t been much for the mass market middle class buyers as they remain largely dependent on buying Suzuki hatchbacks, which in recent times have gone past the reach of many, still for those who have the luxury to spend PKR 3.5 million or more, the choices have become wide-ranging.
Like most parts of the world, the craze of SUVs seems to have reached Pakistani market too. Bear in mind, crossovers SUVs are the fastest growing vehicle category in global automobile market, with sales constantly on the rise. In recent times the crossovers/ SUVs have become so popular that analysts believe they will soon overtake sedans (currently the most popular category) in terms of global sales volume.
In addition to the highly successful Kia Sportage, Lucky Motors are set to introduce Kia Sorento, and there is more to choose from in shape of Hyundai Tucson, Regal’s Glory 580 and upcoming 580 Pro SUVs, Proton is in process of introducing the X70 SUV, plus MG is gearing up to introduce a range of SUVs, FAW has indicated to launch the T77 SUV, whereas reportedly Changan has an SUV in their pipeline as well which they will be introducing here before June 2021. Furthermore Lucky group is reportedly in talks to introduce an SUV with European origin.
What’s more interesting is the fact that most of these crossover SUVs such as Sportage Alpha & Glory 580 are priced lower than expensive sedans of our market like Honda Civic 1.5L Turbo, whereas upcoming choices including Glory 580 Pro and lower variants of Proton X70 & are also going to be priced lower than expensive local assembled compact sedans, which in recent years have crossed the limits of sanity in terms of pricing. Not to mention these sedans are otherwise known as ordinary cars for the masses in other parts of the world.
Indus Motor Company has already announced a price revision for the Corolla variants from January 2021, with the introduction of Corolla’s second facelift in Pakistan. The prices with an increase of up to Rs 100,000 will bring the flagship 1.8L Corolla Altis Grande to PKR 39.99 lac. Honda Civic on the other hand is currently priced from PKR 37.29 lac for the base 1.8L variant to up to PKR 46.99 lac for the top-spec 1.5L Turbo version.
With sales already on a decline compared to previous years, the upcoming period for these overly expensive sedans in Pakistan is going to be even tough. Since if the target market is those who can spend PKR 4 million or more just for the sake of mobility, they can always add a few extra bucks to get an even better vehicle. And considering the fact that SUVs, which not only offer a better presence on roads but holds the advantage of being considered as ‘bari gaari’ are available against a lesser price tag compared to sedans, it looks like a win-win situation for these SUVs which are witnessing a growing trend of ownership in Pakistani market.
Currently the bulk of sedan sales are tilting towards the subcompacts, the sales of which are lead by Toyota Yaris but the segment is soon to witness new competition in form of Changan Alsvin, Proton Saga & BAIC D20. However in presence of SUVs, the market share of expensive sedans (Toyota Corolla & Honda Civic) is likely to get reduced in forthcoming period.