Hyundai Santa Fe Off to a Flying Start in Pakistan

In a time when the local automobile market has crashed to its 20 years old levels with diminished sales, due to challenging economic situations, reduced purchase power of the masses, insanely high car prices, and stringent auto financing conditions, automakers continue to launch super-expensive vehicles catering to the elite buyers, who remains unaffected with aforementioned challenges.

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We have already seen how Sazgar has been enjoying its time with the expensive Haval SUVs, and now Hyundai-Nishat is also experiencing the same with the newly introduced locally assembled Santa Fe hybrid. Bear in mind, that Hyundai has tried to position itself as a premium brand in Pakistan ever since its comeback and has refrained from offering its popular compact models which are doing well in regional markets. Instead, the company has kept itself focused on targeting the elites, a strategy which has paid off quite well.

SantaFe Pakistan 01

Launched in October 2023, Hyundai Santa Fe is priced at Rs. 12,990,000 for the base Smart variant, while the flagship Signature variant is available for Rs. 14,699,000. With on-road prices reaching almost Rs 1.5 crore, the Santa Fe hybrid managed to find 175 buyers in its very first month in October, and 123 in the following month of November. So far in the first two months, Hyundai-Nishat has sold 298 units of Santa Fe hybrid. This renders a monthly sales average of 149 units, which is better than most locally assembled lesser-priced vehicles on sale in our market.

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To put this figure into perspective, the cumulative sales of Honda BR-V and HR-V in Pakistan during the last two months stand at just 183 units. If we divide the number between the two, hypothetically around 91 units of the two were sold in October and November, which results in an individual sales average of just 45 units a month. This means the monthly sales of Santa Fe are three times higher than BR-V and HR-V.

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Sales of Santa Fe were even higher than its stablemates— the C-segment Elantra sedan and D-segment Sonata. Elantra’s October & November sales stand at 157 units, whereas Sonata has just 85 units under its belt. This means the sales of Santa Fe during the last 2 months are 89% higher than Elantra, and 250% higher than Sonata.

Hyundai Santa Fe hybrid in Pakistan

Similarly, the total number of Isuzu D-Max sold in the last 2 months is just 16, whereas that of BAIC BJ40 Plus SUV is just 1 unit. The cumulative number of these two is just 17 units in the last 2 months, which is hopeless, to say the least. In comparison, sales of the Hyundai Santa Fe, which is currently the second most expensive locally assembled vehicle behind the Toyota Fortuner, are skyrocketing. Not only this, sales of the awaami Suzuki Bolan during the last two months are 312 units, which is barely 4% higher than that of Santa Fe— a 7 times more expensive vehicle than the Bolan.

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It remains to be seen if Hyundai Santa Fe in Pakistan will maintain its sales momentum in the upcoming months. Nevertheless, it does illustrate why the majority of automakers are drawn to bring expensive cars to Pakistan as opposed to the purported mass-market options, which are no longer profitable.

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