December 2017 vs December 2022- The Nightmare Continues

The year 2022 is about to end and will be remembered as yet another year of price hikes, the 5th now in a row. The nightmare began almost 5 years ago when Rupee started to lose out on its value against US Dollar in December 2017, from around Rs 110 per $1 to being traded at Rs 255/260 today. Although the rate is officially said to be Rs 226.72+/- as of putting down this article, the fact is, it’s no longer traded at this value (in the open market) for quite some time now.

The impact of worsening economy has put a negative impact on car sales, as they become pricier while going out of the reach of the masses. The reason is, despite the fact that local assemblers boast to have achieved a high level of localization, they are crucially dependent on the import of CKD parts and high-value sophisticated technical components that require an advanced level of engineering such as engines & transmissions.

Related: Can We Settle the Localization Debate With This?

In most cases, even the stamping is done abroad while the assembly plants are only responsible to put together the parts. Whatever localized, are mostly basic parts such as seat cushions, electrical harnesses, bumpers & some plastic components that play no role in the value addition of the industry.

Let us now have a look at the prices of new locally assembled cars sold in our market back in December 2017 and compare these with the ones sold today, the difference is unbelievable.

Make/ Model December 2017 (PKR)
December 2022 (PKR)
Price Difference %
Honda City (base model) MT* 1,549,000 3,769,000 143.30%
Honda City 1.5 Aspire MT* 1,729,000 4,299,000 148.64%
Honda City 1.5 Aspire PT/ CVT* 1,869,000 4,479,000 139.64%
Honda Civic Oriel* 2,499,000 6,599,000 164.06%
Honda BR-V CVT-S 2,329,000 4,939,000 112.06%
Toyota Corolla 1.6 Altis AT/ CVT 2,149,000 4,979,000 131.68%
Toyota Corolla 1.8 Altis CVT 2,349,000 5,639,000 140.05%
Toyota Corolla 1.8 Altis Grande CVT 2,549,000 5,749,000 125.53%
Toyota Fortuner 2.7 Petrol 5,399,000 13,259,000 145.58%
Toyota Fortuner 2.8 Diesel 5,899,000 13,969,000 136.80%
Toyota Hilux Revo 2.8 V 4,649,000 10,599,000 127.98%
Toyota Hilux Revo 2.8 G AT 4,349,000 10,309,000 137.04%
Suzuki Ravi 672,000 1,424,000 111.90%
Suzuki Bolan 754,000 1,500,000 98.93%
Suzuki WagonR VXR 1,054,000 2,421,000 129.69%
Suzuki WagonR VXL 1,094,000 2,564,000 134.36%
Suzuki Cultus VXR 1,250,000 2,754,000 120.32%
Suzuki Cultus VXL 1,391,000 3,024,000 117.39%
Suzuki Cultus VXL AGS 1,528,000 3,234,000 111.64%
Suzuki Swift (top-spec)* 1,327,000 3,760,000 183.34%

* represents a change in generation/ model

Looking back at the prices from December 2017, the currency has (officially) depreciated by up to 110% while the prices of cars have ballooned by up to 140% for the models which were the same in 2017. For the ones representing a change in model/ generation, a substantial difference can be noted, especially in the case of the new Suzuki Swift and Honda Civic Oriel.

Related: Car Price Comparison: June 2019 vs July 2022

For the vehicles introduced after December 2017, the story isn’t too different either. For example, the Suzuki Alto 660cc which is the highest-selling car in Pakistan was introduced in June 2019 for Rs 9.99 lac for the base VX and Rs 12.95 lac for the top-spec VXL AGS version, however today its available for Rs 16.99 lac for VX and Rs 22.23 lac for the VXL AGS variant rendering a 70.07% and 71.6% increase. This 70% increase in 2.5 years is in line with the industry average of a 140% increase in 5 years period.

Changan introduced the Alsvin sedan in January 2021 with prices starting from Rs 21.99 lac for the base variant and Rs 25.49 lac for the flagship Lumiere version. Now as of December 2022, the base version is priced at Rs 33.94 lac while the Lumiere is available for Rs 38.44 lac rendering an increase of 55.34% and 50.80% in less than 2 years.

In September 2018, United Bravo was launched in Pakistan bearing a price tag of Rs 8.5 lac. Today the Bravo hatchback comes against a sum of Rs 15.19 lac witnessing a 78% increase in price in around 4 years of its existence. In January 2020, Prince Pearl was launched in Pakistan with a price tag of Rs 10.49 lac. Today the Pearl hatchback comes available for Rs 15.39 lac and shows a 46.7% increase in price in less than 3 years of presence in the market.

In August 2019, Kia Sportage was launched in Pakistan for Rs 48.99 lac for FWD and Rs 53.99 lac for the AWD variant. Today the Sportage comes available for Rs 66.49 lac for FWD and 71.49 lac for the AWD variant. This shows a 35.72% increase in price for FWD and a 32.41% increase for the AWD variant in around 3 years’ time.

In September 2019, the Kia Picanto hatchback was launched in Pakistan with a price tag of Rs 18.99 lac for the manual and Rs 19.99 lac for the automatic variant. Now as of December 2022, the Picanto comes available for Rs 31.0 lac for manual and Rs 32.0 lac for automatic, rendering an increase of 63.24% and 60.08% respectively in just 3 years.

In August 2020, Hyundai launched the Tucson crossover in Pakistan priced at Rs 48.99 lac for the FWD and Rs 53.99 lac for the AWD variant. Today it’s Rs 68.99 lac for the FWD and Rs 73.99 lac for the AWD variant registering an increase of 40.82% and 37.04% respectively in hardly 2.25 years of presence.

Proton launched the X70 in Pakistan in December 2020 with a price of Rs 48.9 lac for Executive AWD and Rs 53.9 lac for the Premium 2WD variant. Today the Proton X70 is priced at Rs 67.4 lac for base AWD and Rs 71.9 lac for the Premium 2WD variant. The increase is 37.8% and 33.39% in hardly 2 years of presence in the market.

December 2020 also saw the launch of DFSK Glory 580 Pro, which was launched against a price tag of Rs 45.49 lac. Today the Glory 580 Pro is available for Rs 58.0 lac showing a 27% increase in price in 2 years. However effective from 1st January 2023, the price of Glory 580 Pro will be Rs 59.0 lac as announced by the company.

Proton Saga Pakistan launch 1 850x451 1

This was followed by the Saga sedan that was introduced in April 2021. The base variant was priced at Rs 19.75 lac while the top-spec Ace variant was priced at Rs 22.25 lac. Today the Proton Saga comes available for Rs 28.24 lac for the base variant and Rs 31.49 lac for the Ace variant rendering a whopping 42.9% and 41.52% increase respectively, that too within just 1.5 years of launch, clearly being the most outrageous price hike among all.

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