3 Years of Proton Saga in Pakistan

This month three years ago marked the official launch of the Proton Saga in Pakistan. With a price tag comparable to the 1,000cc Suzuki Cultus (Celerio) hatchback, the entry-level sedan was expected to be an instant hit; unfortunately, the Saga fell woefully short of expectations.

Proton’s mishandled delivery schedules, unfulfilled promises, and poor customer service—which was demonstrated when the company brazenly slapped multiple outrageous price hikes on customers who had already made full payments and were eagerly waiting for their vehicles to be delivered only due to the company’s unprofessionalism in making delays—are the real reasons why most Pakistani auto buyers today tend to avoid the brand, despite the fact that both the X70 and Saga had a significant number of reservations during the initial period.

Related: The Bubble Launch of Proton Saga

Today, even after more than 3 years of presence in the market, the Proton Saga is such a rare sight on local roads. Vehicles introduced in the same year, such as the Changan Alsvin, already have a significant effect on the market. And then after the Toyota Yaris and the 6th-gen Honda City arrived, the duo eventually took the lion’s share of the market. After more than three years on the market, Saga’s sales don’t even account for 2% of the segment.

Proton Saga X70

Although the Proton Saga is decently equipped, it rides on a very dated technology compared to its rivals and is the only car in the market that still comes with hydraulic power steering. Then, the fuel efficiency is the worst in the segment, which is understandable due to the tech the car has compared to the competition which offers relatively modern & fuel-efficient engines and transmission choices such as CVT or DCT in contrast to Saga’s conventional torque-convertor automatic, in addition to the manual gearbox option.

Related: How Not to Write a Sponsored Post

Still, given the price, the Saga might have performed far better in our market; for which only the company has to be blamed, not the product. But today with half a dozen authorized dealerships saying goodbye to Proton, it may take a miracle for the Saga to gain a respectable market share; in fact, the main concern is now whether it will survive in the market.

Saga Ace

Saga is currently priced at PKR 37.49 lac for Standard MT, PKR 39.49 lac for Standard AT, and PKR 40.99 lac for the flagship Ace variant. It still is the cheapest sedan one can buy here but with the company’s track record over the years, hardly a few have the courage today to book a Proton car in Pakistan. As it is widely said in the market in connection with Proton cars: You book, your son will get the delivery when he grows up! Will the company do something to change this perception, only time will tell.

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