As reported earlier, the South Korean automaker KIA has outsold Honda in Pakistan to become the third highest selling car brand in January 2021. However as revealed by Muhammad Faisal, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Kia-Lucky Motors, the company has done that for two consecutive months.
“We have sold more cars than Honda for two consecutive months. Our numbers were higher in December and January.”
Honda which has 3 locally assembled products– the Civic, City and BR-V sold 1,764 units in December 2020 and 2,450 units in January 2021, according to the data released by Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA). This means KIA’s numbers in the last two months were higher than this. According to Top Line Securities, KIA had sold more than 2,500 units in January 2021. However, the exact number isn’t available since KIA isn’t part of PAMA yet. Commenting on this, Muhammad Faisal said:
“Joining PAMA doesn’t add any value to us at the moment.”
According to Faisal, the company has witnessed success since it tapped segments which were untouched before. It was the first to introduced a locally assembled crossover SUV– the Sportage in the price range of PKR 4.8 to 5.3 million. Before that people in that range had options to purchase expensive sedans whereas the Fortuner was well above PKR 7.0 million the time when Sportage was introduced.
Furthermore despite multiple price increase sessions by other local automakers, KIA prices are largely sustained. For the sake of comparison, the top-spec Fortuner now cost PKR 9.3 million whereas the top-spec Sportage at PKR 5.39 million is almost unchanged.
At the Sportage launch event back in August 2019, the CEO of Kia-Lucky Motors Asif Rizvi mentioned that “Sportage will fill a huge gap in the auto market since there is no local assembled vehicle with 2.0 liter engine while there is no local assembled product available between PKR 4.0 to 7.0 million price range.”
Related: A Very Different Honda in Pakistan
The company later introduced a base variant called Sportage Alpha which was priced even lower than Honda Civic variants thus it has supposedly dented much of Honda Civic sales, hence the lesser numbers for the Japanese rival. Bear in mind Honda is also feeling the heat in shape of lesser sales for their aging City sedan ever since the introduction of Toyota Yaris in the same price league.
KIA’s local assembled portfolio consist of 3 vehicles at the moment– the Sportage crossover SUV & Picanto hatchback while earlier this month, the company has introduced their third local assembled product called Sorento, the 7-seat mid-sized crossover SUV that’s available with 2.4L and 3.5L V6 engine options with a price tag that undercuts Toyota Fortuner. In addition KIA also sells the latest generation of Carnival luxury MPV as CBU import.
According to Muhammad Faisal, the company will introduce more products in Pakistan before the current Auto Policy expires in June 2021. However, he remained tight lipped about the vehicles which will be introduced.
It is pertinent to mention that Lucky Motors which is also in talks with French automaker Peugeot, is in process of introducing the 1.2L 2008 crossover SUV that will reportedly be slotted below the Sportage.
Related: First Peugeot 2008 Reaches Pakistan
Faisal said that Pakistan auto industry’s volume is expected to increase by 64% this year from a low of 134,000 units in the preceding fiscal year. His company is in good position to create an even tighter grip on the market with a diverse portfolio of quality cars offered to the masses.
News Source: SAMAA
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