There is a lot off buzz on social media these days regarding the launch of FAW B30 sedan in Pakistan this year. However most of the information shared is old and doesn’t indicate towards the launch of said sedan in our country.
Related: FAW B30 at Pakistan Auto Show 2017
Al-Haj has been showcasing an imported B30 unit at different auto shows in Pakistan since 2016. But that’s used to gauge public interest, which has been positive for sure & more like showing them ‘we can make these too..’ as the general perception of the company is either associated with heavy vehicles or low-cost passenger & commercial vehicles in our country.
For sure B30 has been a very successful vehicle in China but after 2 years, its nearing its end there, as an all-electric version called the B30EV will act as a replacement of the conventional B30. The B30EV was launched in China in November 2017. Chinese automakers are rapidly ditching internal combustion engines in favor of EVs so plenty of buyers opt for electric vehicles today, thanks to Chinese government subsidies which nearly accounts for 33% of electric vehicle price.
Another reason is that the B30 is developed on Volkswagen Bora platform and has a 1.6 liter VW-sourced engine under its hood. The Bora was quite a successful car and household name in China, so anyone going for the B30 had absolutely no worry in mind regarding its (B30’s) maintenance & spare-parts availability issues.
In Pakistan it would be a different story. The B30 has a 1.6 liter (1598cc) engine which would result in higher taxation in Pakistan, and more importantly FAW is yet to develop a right-hand-drive (RHD) derivative of the B30 sedan. The B30 is currently available in left-hand-drive (LHD) format, and is available in LHD markets only. In October 2017, the production of B30 sedan was started in Iran which is again an LHD market.
On the other hand, FAW has developed a new sedan called the A50 which is specifically developed keeping export markets in mind. According to information, FAW intends to launch the A50 in Belt & Road nations, most likely including Pakistan. But since the A50 has just been launched in China (January 2018), it will surely take at least a couple of years to reach other markets.
Related: The Stunning 2018 FAW A50 Sedan
The A50 is by far the best looking sedan by FAW, and has been designed by former Lamborghini designer Filippo Perini and developed in collaboration with Italdesign IDG, while the suspension has been engineered by Horiba MIRA. FAW is also working on a wagon based on the same A50 platform, which is expected to launch towards mid 2018.
Instead of old 1.6, the FAW A50 is powered by a downsized 1.5 liter 122hp naturally aspirated engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. A turbocharged 1.0 liter unit with 119hp & a DCT gearbox will also be added to the lineup. The A50 has been priced from just 55,900 yuan (PKR 9.75 lac) for the base version to 72,900 yuan (PKR 12.71 lac) for the premium version.
Features include a multi-function steering wheel, Bosch ver 9.1 ESP (Electronic Stability Program), 6 Airbags, engine start/ stop button, smart entry, TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System), rearview camera with reversing sensors, ISOFIX child seat anchors, 8-inch touch screen with a multimedia entertainment audio and video system, including functions such as voice control, infotainment, smart navigation and driving assistance.
Reportedly Al-Haj FAW is in process of introducing the R7 SUV in Pakistan which will be launched most likely towards the beginning of 2019. The launch of B30 sedan doesn’t seem to be a possibility but as per Chinese media portals, the new A50 will act as a global model for FAW instead of the older B series. FAW does need to enrich their product portfolio in passenger vehicle segment in Pakistan, however we will have to wait to see when the likes of A50 reache here.
Here is a visual comparison between the FAW B30 vs the FAWA50: