Exactly two years ago, Indus Motor Company (IMC) launched Toyota Yaris in Pakistan. It was March 2020 and the country was battling with the spread of COVID-19. The whole country went into lockdowns with Yaris launch event washed out due to the pandemic.
Despite observing zero sales in its initial months, the Yaris was quick to rise to eminence ever since the lockdowns were eased with thumping sales figures while continuing to maintain its dominance in domestic sales charts. For nearly two years, Yaris remained the bestselling sedan in Pakistan, the title which was held by Toyota Corolla since 2009.
However since last few months, the sales of Toyota Yaris in Pakistan has been witnessing a constant decline. The drop is so deplorable that IMC began disclosing combined sales figures of Corolla and Yaris, something which Honda Atlas has been doing since 2014 with Civic and City. This is to camouflage the sorry numbers of Yaris, which recorded its lowest-ever sales in February 2022 with just 1,395 units.
At its peak, the sales of Yaris alone were more than the combined number of Honda City and Civic. In March 2021, the Yaris touched its highest sales in a month with 3,317 units which means its sales today are 58% less than the numbers from the current month of previous year. The decline is largely attributed to the competition in the subcompact B-segment sedans which saw the arrival of Changan Alsvin in early 2021 and 6th gen Honda City during the mid of previous year.
The City was slow to gain sales momentum but according to numbers, its currently selling more than 2,000 units a month, although lower than Yaris sales during glory days but still outpacing the Toyota rival by a huge margin. The remaining dent has been caused by Changan Alsvin which is selling around 1,100 units and is giving a tough time to the Yaris.
So what has gone wrong with the Yaris which is suffering from such a stark decline in sales. From a number of people we inquired, majority were of the opinion that the looks of the vehicle are too compromising, especially the awkwardly increased ride height. Although the owners say they are thoroughly satisfied with its performance.
Instead of stopping to present individual sales numbers of its sedans, IMC should consider introducing the Yaris facelift which is there in regional markets since 2020, the same year when the pre-facelift model was launched in Pakistan. The company should also consider introducing the missing features such has projector headlamps, 4-wheel disc brakes, cruise control, parking sensors, rear vents etc in order to make the vehicle more competitive in the segment.
Some say the soaring sales of Toyota Yaris were because of the absence of competition in the market. And now with other available options, buyers are shying away from Yaris. The company’s strategy to stop disclosing individual numbers is more like a defensive move, which also gives us a hint that future numbers are perhaps going to be even more appalling.
Whether IMC will introduce Yaris facelift hardly two years after its debut in Pakistan will be an interesting thing to see, and whether the facelift will help Yaris regain its title as the highest-selling sedan of the country. However one thing is for sure, that the once bestselling sedan of Pakistan is in hot waters after the presence of competition in the segment. Do you think IMC should consider introducing the Yaris facelift to aid its ailing sales in Pakistan, let us know with your comments.
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