This Week in Auto Industry: Price Hikes, MG 6, Locally Assembled Proton Saga, and More

The second week of November is about to come to a head, with some interesting developments resulting in both, intrigue and worry for enthusiasts, analysts, and the general public alike.

Like the previous week, most news stories this week have sparked speculations regarding the future of the Pakistani car market. This news round-up will go over all significant developments that took place during week two of November 2021, while also considering how they will likely affect the Pakistani automotive market in days to come.

Carmakers Pull the Trigger on Price Hikes

After a number of warnings about price hikes from automotive experts, car companies have finally decided to increase the prices of their vehicles.

Thus far, Toyota Indus Motor Company (IMC), Honda Atlas Cars Limited (HACL), Pak Suzuki Motor Company (PSMC), Kia Lucky Motors Corporation (KLMC), Hyundai Nishat, and Regal Motors have increased the prices of their cars.

All car makers have cited the supply chain crisis, devaluation of the local currency, and increase in the cost of raw materials and freight charges as the reasons for increased prices.

The demand for cars has been incredibly high across Pakistan. However, it is being speculated that the recent price hikes are likely to have a negative impact on the demand for vehicles.

Kia Becomes a Certified Big Player

Earlier this week, KLMC celebrated the production of 50,000 cars at its local assembling facility at Port Qasim, Karachi. It accomplished this feat in just over two years of its launch, subsequently becoming one of the most prolific car companies in Pakistan.

While there is a decent demand for Picanto, Sorento, and Carnival, the company’s decision to launch the compact crossover SUV segment in Pakistan with the debut of Kia Sportage has played a huge role in its meteoric rise.

KLMC also recently introduced Stonic in Pakistan to a lot of attention and praise from the public on account of its impressive features and an attractive price tag.

Given the general popularity of SUVs these days, it is likely KLMC will witness further growth in its market share with the launch of Kia Stonic.

Toyota Witnesses Further Growth in Market Share

Toyota Indus Motors Company (IMC) Limited has, yet again, reported a remarkable growth of 59.67 percent on a year-over-year (YOY) basis in its market share in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2021-22 (Q1 FY22). During Q1 FY21, the company sold 11,809 vehicles, whereas, in Q1 FY22, it sold 18,855 units.

This was announced during Toyota IMC’s Corporate Briefing Session held on Tuesday. The meeting discussed the company’s financial results in Q1 FY22 as well as its current standing and future strategy with the participants.

Toyota IMC also broke its own record selling 7001 units in October 2021, breaking their previous record of July 2021 when they sold 6,775 vehicles in a month.

During a Q&A session, Chief Executive Officer Toyota IMC Ali Asghar Jamali reported that the company is at an advantage dealing with the chip shortage as it has a decent amount of inventory in stock. He added that the chip shortage will not be of any consequence for the company at least until mid-2022.

Locally Assembled Proton Saga Head Towards Dealerships

Proton has an intriguing vehicle lineup for the Pakistani market. However, the recent supply-chain-related hiccups subsequent to a countrywide lock-down on Malaysia amid the pandemic inhibited the company’s growth.

Fortuitously, the company’s local assembling facility has become operational, and locally-assembled Proton Saga units have begun reaching dealerships across Pakistan.

Proton Saga is a handsome value proposition in a market ruled by expensive sedans and crossover SUVs. Its price starts from Rs. 1.925 million and tops out at Rs. 2.425 million. The locally produced variants of the Saga include additional features such as:

  • A center console with an armrest to enhance comfort.
  • Front parking sensors for parking ease.
  • Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH) guard for the bonnet.
  • NVH guard on the boot lid.
  • A strut tower brace to minimize body-roll.

As Pakistan’s cheapest sedan that offers decent features, comfort, and performance, it offers solid value-for-money that surely deserves more attention.Advertisement

MG 6 Goes on Display

After displaying the HS 2.0T AWD in Sialkot the previous week, Morris Garages (MG) has decided to display the MG 6 sedan at MG Lyallpur, Faisalabad.

MG 6 is a C-Segment compact family sedan that goes up against Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, and Hyundai Elantra. In the international market, the car is in its third generation but the unit displayed in Pakistan is a second-generation model.

Interestingly, MG also teased the 5/GT sedan for Pakistan a few months ago, which is also a C-segment sedan. Therefore, it would be interesting to see where the MG 6 is positioned if it is launched here in Pakistan.

There are no reports or details about when the vehicle will be launched and at what price, but given that the new year is drawing closer and with the much anticipated PAPS Autoshow, MG 6 is likely to draw quite a few eyeballs in the coming days.

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