12 Years of Suzuki Swift in Pakistan

Pak Suzuki has recently announced to discontinue the 2nd generation Swift hatchback in Pakistan. The vehicle has been in production since 2010 and while its discontinuation has been announced in August 2020, the Swift will stay with us till August 2021 according to the notification. Let us take a recap on the 12 years of this car in Pakistan.

2004 Paris Motor Show- The Debut

Swift debuts at 2004 Paris Motor Show

The second generation Swift made its world debut at the 2004 Paris Motor Show. It was a significant departure from the previous Cultus-based models, with Suzuki redesigning the Swift as more of a “sporty” subcompact rather than a conventional low price hatchback. The Swift’s design and driving characteristics were focused on the European market with its chassis refined through a road-testing program conducted across Europe.

Due to its sportier characteristics and a rather modern design of its time, the vehicle became popular in almost every market around the world where it was introduced. The Swift was available in a variety of engine options and various body configurations including 3-door/ 5-door hatchback & 4-door notchback sedan (in India) with FWD and 4WD layouts & manual as well as automatic transmission options on offer.

2010- The Retirement & Launch

3rd gen Swift debuts at 2010 Paris Motor Show

Related: The Skipped Generation Models

After completing 6 years of its production life span, year 2010 saw the replacement of 2nd gen Swift with the 3rd generation model which was bigger, longer & wider and more sharper looking than the predecessor. However while 2010 was the year of retirement for the 2nd gen Swift in international markets, it was the same year when this model was introduced in Pakistan in January 2010.

Swift launched in Pakistan in 2010

The Swift with a lone 1.3 liter engine was launched at PKR 9.99 lac however just after a month the prices were increased by Rs 50,000 taking them to PKR 10.49 lac by March 2010. Initially the Swift was available with manual transmission only in DX and DLX trims while the automatic variant was added to the lineup in May 2012 bearing a price tag of PKR 13.11 lac.

Sales Weren’t Coming Easy

Initially the Swift saw a hard time picking up sales and Pak Suzuki had to discontinue the hot-selling Cultus VXL (power-packed) in order to boost the Swift sales. This worked and a couple of years later, Swift recorded its highest ever sales in FY2011-12 with 7,040 units sold. Since then however, the figures are nowhere even near.


Seated at the Bottom of Domestic Sales Chart

For several years the Swift has remained seated at the bottom of domestic sales chart. However in the recently concluded fiscal year 2019-20, the 1.3L hatchback recorded its lowest ever figures in a year with just 1,828 units being sold in the entire year averaging only 152 units a month. This is 64% less than 5,050 units the company was able to sell in FY2018-19 averaging 420 units a month.

Almost Entirely Unchanged

The Swift never saw any sort of improvement or upgrade incorporated during its decade-long production run in Pakistan. The only things worth mentioning are the automatic transmission & the inclusion of navigation system and that’s pretty much about it. There used to be DX & DLX variants on offer however in later years the DX versions were discontinued leaving only the DLX manual & automatic variants available.

Most Under-Equipped Car in Pakistan

Perhaps you might have called it a better equipped vehicle back in 2010, but fast-forward 2020, the Swift remains one of the most under-equipped vehicles (alongside 5th gen Honda City) in Pakistan without a single airbag being offered in the lineup.

2 Generations Behind the Global Model

Internationally, the Swift is currently in its 4th generation that debuted back in December 2016 and after completing 3 years of its life has already received a facelift earlier this year. The 2nd gen Swift in Pakistan is currently two generations behind the global Suzuki Swift model.

A Decade Old- Double the Price

Despite being a 16 years old car now as per international standards, and more than 10 years of presence in the market, the Swift has seen constant revisions in price which is now more than double than its initial price tag in Pakistan in 2010. The 2nd gen Swift is currently priced at PKR 19.95 lac for manual and PKR 21.4 lac for automatic variant.

Some Critical Annotations

The 2nd generation Swift was indeed a very good car of its time but has gone past its prime long ago. It was already introduced quite late in Pakistan and since then has remained almost entirely unchanged. Despite being a Suzuki-badged car, the Swift was unable to see the same sort of success which other Pak Suzuki hatchbacks enjoy. For example, the average monthly sales of Swift remain less than 400 units a month, whereas the old Cultus (2000-17) enjoyed an average 1,700 units a month sales, Alto (2000-12) saw 1,400 odd units a month whereas the WagonR & Celerio (new Cultus) fare well above 2,000 units per month (prior to FY2019-20).

Related: Suzuki Swift- All Generations

  • Although the Swift is a 1.3L hatchback but technically it’s a 1328cc vehicle and entitles for higher taxes compared to the likes of bigger 1298cc Toyota Corolla XLi/ GLi which being lower than 1300cc bracket enjoys relatively lower taxes.
  • On the outside it looks a bigger hatchback but has less interior space than any modern day hatchback/ JDMs. Off course the car belongs to 2004 and one cannot really compare a 16 years old car with the standards of today, something which Pak Suzuki really need to understand.
  • The fuel consumption isn’t that efficient since having an older M-series engine under its hood, whereas modern Suzuki cars (including the 4th gen Swift) are equipped with fuel efficient K-series engines.
  • Boot space is also relatively inadequate at 213 liters only; in fact it’s even smaller than the Cultus (Celerio) which offers 235 liters of cargo volume. Again, the Celerio is 10 years newer car than the Swift so improvement over the period of time is obvious.
  • Ground clearance of Swift (140mm) is also lower than any hatchback of this era. Both Suzuki Celerio & WagonR has 165mm of ground clearance whereas the 660cc Alto has that of 170mm. This results in Swift brushing over the bumps more often than any other hatchback particularly with all 5 passengers onboard.

The Replacement

Pak Suzuki is yet to officially announce the replacement of 2nd gen Swift as there is still 1 more year left for the hatchback to see its retirement. However according to our sources within the company, the 4th gen Swift is likely to be offered as a replacement.

4th generation Suzuki Swift

Do you have an ownership experience of 2nd gen Suzuki Swift to share with our readers, or if you like to add your two cents on its tenure in Pakistan? Feel free to use the comment section below.

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