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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

The Kingdom of Suzuki Mehran has fallen

News Desk |

A leading automaker Pak Suzuki, of the big three, has finally succumbed to pressure. Pak Suzuki Motor on Thursday, 7th September, announced that it would cease production of its much sought-after vehicle Mehran, a veteran over-priced car with no safety or tech features, next year. This has been done with the pretext of launching a new brand with modern features amid impending competition from Chinese brands and other incoming players.

“Management of PSMCL (Pak Suzuki Motor Company Limited) has decided to discontinue Model SB-308 (Mehran) from April 2019,” the carmaker, having more than half of share in 260,000 markets, said in a statement. “Consequently, 23,821 units will be produced from September 2018 to March 2019.”

It is yet to be seen how the Mehran-infested Pakistani auto market will take to an abrupt change. One thing is for sure, Naya Pakistan is definitely set to have a Naya Automobile Sector.

The company planned to produce 4,574 units of Mehran SB-308 VX and 19,247 units of SB-308 VXR. Mehran constitutes 33 percent of the company’s production of more than 144,000 units during the last fiscal year of 2017/18. Mehran had replaced Suzuki FX model in 1988 and since then there had been no changes in the body shape, aerodynamics or exterior apart from minor changes in headlights and tail lights. The three-decade-old VX is pretty much similar to the surprisingly popular VXR, which has an air conditioner installed and a Euro-2 engine. In 2012, Pak Suzuki upgraded all vehicles including Mehran to Euro II technology.

United Motor Company’s brainchild Bravo, which is set to launch today, is rumored to be the primary pushover for the previously unflinching 30-year old Mehran. The United Bravo who’s ‘leaked pictures took social media by storm a few months ago, was set to launch on 1st September, GVS earlier reported. The launch date has been moved up a week and now the car will be unveiled on 8th September 2018, (today).

Read more: Mehran VX is officially over!

The hatchback will be equipped with an 800cc 3-cylinder water-cooled engine producing 40 BHP and 60 NM torque. According to the company’s officials, the all-new Bravo has more features than any locally produced hatchbacks. Although the company has not disclosed the price yet, it is a consensus among the potential buyers that the new car must be priced under PKR 7, 00,000. Rumors suggest that the car will be priced in between 6 and 7 lac rupees.

The Mehran, however, had become more expensive over the past year, with zero to little changes made over the past three decades. In March this year, Pak Suzuki Motor Company (PSMC) had jacked up the already raised prices of its variants by up to Rs. 50,000, effective from March 1st, 2018, which marked the second time the automaker had revised rates in an upward trajectory this year alone, before even hitting the second quarter. Hardly two months prior, had the company raised prices in the range of Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000 in a balancing act against the depreciating rupee.

Read more: Farewell, Suzuki Mehran! Enter: United bravo!

The latest price for the VXR Model Euro 2 is Rs. 7,95,000 and for its CNG variant is Rs. 8,05,000, which amounts to almost 0.9 Million PKR including registration. It is yet to be seen how the Mehran-infested Pakistani auto market will take to an abrupt change. One thing is for sure, Naya Pakistan is definitely set to have a Naya Automobile Sector. With Kia, Renault, Hyundai, and Volkswagen along with two Chinese companies rolling out locally assembled vehicles, it is not too soon to assume that we will be writing goodbye notes to ridiculously over-priced and faulty Toyota Corollas, Honda’s City and Civic.