Impossible Becomes Possible in Less Than 14 Years

Car prices in Pakistan have seen frequent revisions in recent years primarily due to depreciating Rupee value against the US Dollar. Prices during the last couple of years alone have witnessed nearly 48% increase.

Related: Car Price Increase in Last 1 Year

This coupled with added duties & taxes, restrictions on non-filers and the recent COVID-19 pandemic has badly dented the sales of locally assembled vehicles. However if we look back at the not-so-distant past, not only that there were plenty of options for the buyers to choose from, but prices of cars were also very low, thanks to a much stronger Pak Rupee against the Dollar compared to what it is today.  Going through some of the comparisons below, it certainly looks like a dream that we were living in a much better time economically. In terms of price hikes, what looked almost impossible a few years ago has in fact become a harsh reality.

In 2006/07 Hyundai introduced the Sonata luxury sedan in Pakistan. Back then Hyundai used to be under Dewan’s umbrella. With a 2.4 liter engine under its hood, the Sonata was priced at PKR 18.99 lac for manual and PKR 19.99 lac for automatic version. Today this is the sort of money that will buy you a 1.0L Suzuki WagonR AGS which comes available for PKR 18.9 lac.

In 2007, the Toyota Camry XV40 with a 2.4 liter engine was introduced in Pakistan with a price tag of PKR 27.5 lac. Today the nearly 12 years old 5th gen Honda City Aspire that doesn’t even offer a single airbag cost PKR 28.59 lac which is 109,000 more than what we used to pay for Camry hardly 13 years ago.

Among the many options available back then was the Ssangyong Stavic luxury MPV. It was priced from just PKR 18.25 lac for manual 2WD version to up to PKR 26.7 lac for the flagship 4WD automatic. But it was still PKR 6.29 lac cheaper than the Honda BR-V iVTEC-S of today which cost PKR 32.99 lac.

Dewan Mushtaq Motors’ Mitsubishi Lancer was also a popular sedan of that time. It was priced from PKR 8.39 lac for the base 1.3L GL trim and went as high as PKR 10.99 lac for the flagship 1.6L GLX S/R version. Which means the top-spec Lancer back then was Rs 50,000 cheaper than the 800cc Prince Pearl of today which cost PKR 11.49 lac, and Rs 100,000 cheaper than United Bravo which now cost PKR 11.99 lac.

The 8th generation Honda Civic commonly known as Reborn was available for PKR 14.99 lac for the flagship VTi Oriel Prosmatec version. And it was nearly Rs 100,000 cheaper than the 660cc Pak Suzuki Alto VXL AGS of this era that cost PKR 15.98 lac.

Related: Remembering Cars from the Previous Decade

The 3.0L Land Cruiser Prado was available for PKR 49.5 lac back then, it’s available for PKR 367.0 lac today. The 1.3L Honda City M/T was available for PKR 8.39 lac whereas its PKR 23.29 lac today. Suzuki Bolan which was priced at PKR 3.67 lac now cost PKR 11.34 lac. Similarly Corolla XLi was priced at PKR 8.79 lac, Alto VXR for 4.64 lac, Cultus VXR for PKR 5.55 lac etc. For complete car prices from that era, click here.

Car prices in Pakistan are going to experience a new wave of price hikes as Rupee has reach to 167 against the Dollar. However with prices this high, sales will be further reduced. Only 89,284 cars have so far been assembled Pakistan during the current fiscal year compared to 196,415 units in the same period of previous year. Sales have witnessed 50% to up to 80% reduction in various vehicle segments.

Related: Future of Auto Industry with No Government Support

Auto industry has already demanded government for tax reliefs however the stakeholders were deeply disappointed with no support from the government in the recently announced financial budget. A few years ago Pakistan assembled around 250,000 cars annually and aimed to hit the 500,000 mark however this will be first time that the annual tally will remain below 100,000 cars which is alarming.

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