News Analysis |
One of the many new entrants to come into Pakistan’s barren auto sector, South Korean automaker Kia, has introduced two new vehicles into the Pakistani market; an 11-seater family station wagon by the name of Grand Carnival and a one-tonne pickup. Kia has released these cars in the form of completely built units.
The price of the Grand Carnival starts from Rs3.9 million, while the price tag for the one-tonne pick-up stands at Rs1.9 million. Grand Carnival comes with a four-year or 100,000km warranty. The car has a 3.3-litre engine mated to a six-speed auto transmission.
In Pakistan, with middle-income households being the highest populated, Kia needs to not follow the big three into the grave in search of profits and revise its rate list.
After signing an agreement with the Ministry of Industries and Production last year for the production of light commercial and passenger vehicles, Kia has now opened its first dealership in Karachi with plans to open more across the country. Kia Motors is launching its vehicles through a joint venture with Lucky Cement. It has partnered with Yunus Brother Group to form Kia-Lucky Motors.
Addressing the occasion, Kia-Lucky Motors CEO said: “We are very pleased at the opening of the first Kia dealership with the launch of Grand Carnival, which is a multi-purpose passenger vehicle for families. In a short time, more Kia dealerships will be opening up across Pakistan.”
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Apart from Kia, South Korean companies Hyundai and SsangYong Motor, Germany’s Volkswagen, France’s Renault and Japan’s Nissan have also revealed plans and signed MOUs to enter Pakistan’s auto market, most probably in the next one year.
Local importers like United Motors and Sazgar, the manufacturers of two-wheel and three-wheel vehicles, have also made plans to enter the country’s lucrative four-wheel industry. United Motors already revealed its Mehran rival in the market a few months ago by the name of United Bravo. This 660 cc locally manufactured high tech car is probably one of the most anticipated cars of all time in Pakistan. Apart from that, Nissan which has partnered with Gandhara industries has also released a ‘first look’ of its hatchbacks Nissan Redi and Nissan Redi-GO.
Considering the fact that these international vehicles need to set a place in the monopolized Pakistani auto market, the prices and initial offerings are not attractive. The grand carnival, for instance, might be a sturdy vehicle like the Kia classic that stayed in Pakistan for decades, but it is also out of reach for a middle class or upper-middle-class individual that might actually require a station wagon. In Pakistan, with middle-income households being the highest populated, Kia needs to not follow the big three into the grave in search of profits and revise its rate list.
The same stands true for the pick-up. In a country where labour is cheap, individuals that let out or drive pick-ups do not do so at hefty rates and hence do not buy expensive pickups in the first place. In a comparative analysis, a Hyundai Shehzore or a Bolan pickup might be a better option for a vendor.