The Auto Policy 2016-21 has been able to attract new brands to step into the local market. South Korean manufacturers Hyundai & Kia have already partnered with respective local groups and are in process of setting up a manufacturing plant in Pakistan.
German automaker Volkswagen is also hinting towards its entry while Renault partnered with Al-Futtaim of UAE is also eyeing for a good share of market in coming years. Couple of Chinese companies are also in talks to develop their base here which sure has triggered competition, something that was lacking ever since the 90s.
The existing 3 Japanese players which have been dominating the domestic market for more than two decades have no choice but to prepare for the competition. Among these, Toyota seems to be the one ahead of the other two (Suzuki & Honda) in terms of pushing up their game to face the upcoming competitive scenario.
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Toyota (Indus Motors) has decided to expand their existing plants with a capital investment of $40 million, to help increase the production of vehicles by around 10,000 units per annum. Hiroyuki Fukui, Toyota Motor Corporation’s chief executive officer for Asia, Middle East and North African region said:
“We expect strong competition from the new (Korean) carmakers setting up their assembly plants. We are preparing our strategy for Pakistan because it is a very important and growing market for us. We plan to launch smaller cars in the market as well but we cannot disclose our plans yet.”
Pakistan’s small car market is entirely dominated by Pak Suzuki until now, however considering the fact that new comers are willing to tap this sector of the market, it will be a wise decision for Toyota to timely capture some decent share in small car market.
Hiroyuki Fukui has indicated the launch of small cars in Pakistan in near future, and considering what Toyota has to offer in this (Asian) region, we can expect (any of) the following cars to be introduced in Pakistan.
Toyota Vios/ Yaris Ativ
A Toyota official has confirmed that the discontinuation of 1300cc Corolla variants is under consideration, however which car will replace the Xli/ GLi is yet to be decided. It may well be the Vios sedan or the newly launched Yaris Ativ. We have already done a piece on both these cars in detail which you can read below:
Toyota Vitz/ Yaris hatchback
The Vitz is considered as the hottest hatchback in our market ever since it made its way during the last decade. Available in our market mainly as JDM (used) import, the Vitz has enjoyed a tremendous success despite not being officially sold by Indus Motors. All three of its generations remained extremely popular in Pakistan and this may well open doors for Indus Motors to consider assemble one locally.
The Vitz is also labeled as Yaris in various markets across the globe. The first two generations of Vitz (XP10 and XP90) were same as the Yaris & shared the same platform, however the third (current) generation Yaris (XP150) is based on the Vios platform and is different than the third gen Vitz (XP130). The Vitz does come with a 1.0 liter 1KR-FE engine but the smallest unit Yaris hatchback gets is the 1.2 liter 3NR-FE engine.
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In 2012 Indus Motors were rumored to introduce the Vios & Yaris in Pakistan as few units were also caught on camera, however the plan was later shelved. The introduction of either of these hatchbacks can act as a good competitor against the Suzuki Swift and upcoming Kia Rio hatchback.
The Toyota Agya is a small 1000cc hatchback sold with different names in different markets. It is available in Indonesia, Philippines & Sri Lanka with names such as Daihatsu Ayla, Toyota Wigo and is also sold as Perodua Axia in Malaysia.
It use the 1.0 liter 1KR-DE 3-cylinder engine however since 2017 the 1.0-liter 1KR-VE is also available. In the Philippines, the Toyota Wigo (Agya) was awarded Best Micro Car of the Year by the Car Awards Group for 2014-2015.
The Agya is available with either 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Earlier the Daihatsu Cuore sold by Indus Motors between 2000 to 2012, was the only small car to have an automatic transmission option.
Currently small cars in our market fail to offer auto tranny, so the introduction of Agya in automatic option can give Toyota an edge over its competitors & can be a worthy addition to the IMC product lineup here. The Agya may well prove to be successful if its priced around the 1000cc Pak Suzuki WagonR.
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