Since we live in a third-world market with policies & regulations on the auto sector & consumer welfare are next to nothing, cars assembled in Pakistan not only lack basic features & safety equipment offered elsewhere but in most cases are introduced once done from the rest of the world & are often dragged for a prolonged period of time once launched.
Obviously, we can’t expect to have the same level of equipment & international quality standards in locally assembled cars at this point in time due to the fact that the local auto industry is still in its infancy. But what’s astonishing is the fact that there are several examples when cars were introduced here after they were either replaced by a newer generation model or were simply discontinued elsewhere.
Allegedly, the companies responsible for introducing these retired cars, get their hands on discarded molds & jigs at a throw-away cost. Let us have a look at the models that were launched in Pakistan when they were already considered obsolete in the rest of the world.
6th gen Honda City
The 6th generation Honda City in July 2021 came as a replacement for the 5th generation model which was dragged for over 12 years in Pakistan. The 6th gen City made its debut in April 2014, received a facelift in 2017, and was replaced by the 7th-generation model in November 2019. So technically, Pakistan embraced the 6th gen City after 7.3 years, and more importantly 1.8 years after it was replaced by the 7th gen model.
2nd gen Kia Picanto
The 2nd generation Kia Picanto hatchback was launched in Pakistan almost 2.5 years after it got discontinued from the rest of the world. The 2nd gen Picanto debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2011 and was replaced by the 3rd gen model in 2017. Not to mention the 3rd gen already received a facelift in 2020 and is nearing the end of its production run. Known as Kia Morning back in its home market, the next-generation model can be expected to make its global debut somewhere in 2023. Meanwhile, the one sold in Pakistan is already an 11 year old model.
3rd gen Kia Sorento
The 3rd gen Kia Sorento is another locally assembled vehicle in Pakistan that was introduced here after being replaced by the newer 4th generation model. Reportedly, Kia is working on a mid-life facelift for the current generation model already.
6th gen Hyundai Elantra
The 6th gen Hyundai Elantra was introduced in Pakistan exactly a year after the new 7th-generation model made its world debut in March 2020. Currently, its been over 2.5 years since the debut of the latest generation Elantra and there seems to be no chance for the company to replace the obsolete model here in favor of the one parallel to the rest of the world.
United Bravo & Alpha
United stepped into the 4-wheel business with the introduction of the Bravo hatchback in the year 2018 which is based on a 3-decades old second-generation Suzuki Alto better known to us as Mehran. In addition, the company also introduced the 1,000cc Alpha hatchback in January 2021 which is a rebadged second-generation Chery QQ facelift that became obsolete in the year 2015. Currently, Pakistan is the only market in the world where these two obsolete cars are being sold.
Regal Automobiles which also entered into the 4-wheel business expanding from their 2-wheel operations introduced the Price Pearl hatchback in January 2020. Just like United Bravo, it’s another Chinese car based on the 3-decades-old Suzuki Mehran having the same 800cc replica engine and 4-speed transmission & is deprived of any safety equipment. Both Bravo and Pearl are sold nowhere else in the world but in Pakistan & are built by low-scale Chinese automakers having a presence in third-tier cities in China only.
However, this isn’t just about the above-mentioned options currently on sale, as the past is literally loaded with examples where cars were introduced in Pakistan after getting obsolete from the rest of the world. The list includes the 2nd Gen Suzuki Swift which was launched here in 2010 the same year when it was replaced by the 3rd generation model.
Kizashi was a mid-sized saloon produced by Suzuki between 2009 and 2014. However a year after being discontinued, Pak Suzuki introduced this car in Pakistan as CBU in 2015. Then there was FAW V2 the locally assembled versions of which rolled off the assembly lines in 2017 after the car was discontinued in China in 2016. Zotye Z100 was another car that was introduced here after becoming a globally discontinued model.
Indus Motor Company sold the 4th gen Daihatsu Cuore between 2000 and 2012. However, the production span of this model (L500) was between 1994 and 1998. It was replaced by the 5th gen Cuore L700 (also known as Mira) in 1998. So the Cuore in Pakistan was introduced 2 years after it was phased out from the rest of the world.
More interestingly, the locally assembled Cuore came equipped with the same 847cc (ED-10) carburetor engine that was originally deployed with the L70-series Mira/ Cuore from 1985.
Going back further in the past, the Suzuki Baleno pre-facelift was launched here in 1998 when the world had already received the facelift. Keep in mind the Baleno debuted in 1995 and received a facelift in 1998. We embraced the facelift in the year 2002 when the car was already discontinued from the rest of the world.
Suzuki Mehran was Pak Suzuki’s bestselling model that was sold between 1989 and 2019. However, its global lifespan was from 1984 to 1988 as it was already replaced with the 3rd gen Alto in 1988. Though the car remained available in India as Maruti 800 till 2014 while its intellectual property rights were acquired by Jiangnan Auto in China which produced it under the name of Jiangnan TT till 2017. The production of 2nd Gen Alto came to an end in Pakistan in April 2019.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com