Kia introduced the 2nd gen Picanto hatchback last year to compete in the 1.0L hatchback segment. Its primary competitor is supposed to be the Suzuki Cultus (Celerio) which has been doing quite well in terms of sales ever since it stepped in the market in 2017.
The Picanto was often criticized for its pricing which was a little more than Suzuki Cultus from day one, not to mention the company introduced an out-gone generation model which was discontinued elsewhere in 2017. However as we progress, it seems the South Korean hatchback is causing some sort of troubles to its Japanese rival.
Related: Kia Picanto- Here vs Elsewhere
It remains a fact that Kia, not being part of PAMA (Pakistan Automobile Manufacturers Association) won’t disclose its sales figures but looking at what the once hot selling Cultus is going through, it’s a bit easier to understand why the Suzuki hatchback is feeling the heat.
Before the troubled financial year 2019-20, the Cultus was selling well above 20,000 units a year & was considered among the bestselling cars for Pak Suzuki. However in FY19-20, its sales like most other local assembled cars dipped by whopping 46% to just 12,307 units. Now when car market is regaining its momentum back, the Suzuki Cultus is still struggling to pick up sales.
Since the last 2 months, the monthly sales count has dropped to less than 1,000 units a month with just 786 units in September and 816 units in October 2020 & it’s hard to remember when the Cultus sold this low in numbers. And more astonishingly, the current figures are even worst when compared to sales from the miserable FY2019-20. The sales in September are 29% lower while that of October are 31% lower than the corresponding months of previous year. As of the first 4 months of this fiscal year, the cumulative sales of Suzuki Cultus are 15% lower than the deplorable sales from FY19-20.
Ironically we don’t have the sales stats of Kia Picanto since the company is yet to begin revealing its sales numbers, so we really can’t tell how well the Picanto is selling other than to say that it is becoming a regular sight on our roads– at least as far as Karachi is concerned.
And while the SUV and sedan segments are set to witness an increasing competition, thanks to the imminent arrival of an array of new options, the 1.0L hatchback market deprived of any new options will still revolve around the likes of Picanto & Cultus and yes the Suzuki WagonR. Do you think Kia Picanto is the reason behind the ongoing decline in Cultus sales, share your opinion using the comment section below.
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