In presence of a flurry of expensive crossovers introduced in recent times, we were badly waiting for an affordable sedan to be launched in Pakistan that’s targeted towards the mass-market buyers.
Changan Alsvin first emerged on the scene with company making huge claims to have challenged the status quo, however with multiple price increments announced in quick successions, it no longer seems to be challenging the established players, although the base variant is available for PKR 21.49 lac, it remains the least desirable one amongst the Alsvin variants as far as the sales are concerned.
Then came Proton Saga which was touted as the cheapest sedan in Pakistan, but with the assembly plant yet to become operational, Proton was heavily counting on CBUs. However the COVID-19 lockdowns in Malaysia caused a complete stop to the CKDs and CBUs thus leaving a bad impression on the brand with Proton yet to deliver a single locally assembled unit as of date, even after 7 months of launching the Saga sedan.
Related: The Bubble Launch of Proton Saga
Now however the BAIC D20 sedan by Sazgar Engineering Works Limited (SEWL) is the ray of hope for auto consumers of Pakistan. Initially Sazgar was only testing the D20 hatchback but later on decided to bring in the sedan derivative among its offerings. Whats good is that unlike Proton, the Sazgar plant is complete and operational and has already went through the test production phase. The company has also recently informed the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) that it will commence commercial production from 1st September 2021.
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Recently, Sazgar-BAIC on its official Facebook page posted a video hinting the launch of the BJ40 SUV, which will be first locally assembled BAIC vehicle in Pakistan to go on sale. However one can notice in the video above, that the production of X25 crossover, D20 hatchback as well as the D20 sedan is already underway. This is a sound move to have the plant in operational condition prior to the formal launch which will ensure quicker deliveries due to ample stocks at company’s disposal.
This also means that after launching the BJ40 SUV, Sazgar is in good position to bring the D20 to the market very soon. And once launched, we might be able to see the D20 on our roads ahead of Proton Saga, the production of which is proportional to the arrival of CKD kits from Malaysia.
As previously revealed by Ali Hameed, the Director Marketing at Sazgar-BAIC:
“The company has decided to launch a sedan version of D20 hatchback. The BAIC D20 Sedan will pack the same 1.3L/1.5L engine with equipment like metallic paint, alloy wheels, air bags, day-time running lights and parking sensor coming as standard, just like its hatchback variant. However, it will cost same as the Suzuki Cultus.”
The above statement shows that Sazgar might be eyeing for a price tag of around PKR 2.0 million at least for the base BAIC D20 variant, but considering the fact that the above mentioned features will be coming as standard, the D20 seems to be a good buy and can become successful primarily due to quicker deliveries.
The BAIC D20 sedan
The BAIC D20 is based on 2004 Smart Forfour platform while its styling is heavily inspired by the first generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class. This is because BAIC has close ties with Daimler and since 2003 operates a joint venture in China that assembles Mercedes Benz vehicles. The vehicle does well in many markets (including RHD) across the globe.
From the looks of it, the BAIC D20 appear to be quite promising & with a price around PKR 2.0 million, has got all the potential to create a stir in the market. Do you think the D20 sedan will be an ideal alternative to Proton Saga? Let us know with your comments.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com