Kia launched the Stonic B-segment crossover on the 8th of November and according to news reports circulating on the internet & social media, the Stonic, just like any new car launched in recent times has witnessed an overwhelming response. As per information, Kia-Lucky produced 500 CKD units of Stonic in the first phase and all those units have been sold on the very first day of booking.
Marketed as ‘SUV for the City’, the Stonic is available in two variants, the EX and EX+ both powered by 1.4L engine mated to 6-speed automatic transmission, and is priced at PKR 36.6 lac and PKR 38.8 lac respectively. The Stonic comes rich in features & equipment with 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, Hill-start assist, Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), ISOFix child seat anchorage, multi-function steering, 8-inch infotainment system with Apple Carplay/ Android Auto and Bluetooth Connectivity, power retract & heated side mirrors and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) as standard to name a few. The vehicle is backed by 4-years/ 100,000km warranty.
Whether or not the Kia Stonic is an attractive package in the given price, but the real question is if all those 500 units have been booked by genuine buyers or investors, who intend to sell these cars to real customers by charging a premium amount. Since as revealed by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) in its recent research, 90% of passenger vehicles in Pakistan are sold against premium/ on money. Whereas the automobile sector has made undocumented transactions worth up to Rs 170 billion during last 5 years under the head of additional charges, also known as own/ premium, paid to get immediate delivery of vehicles.
We have already similar examples with almost every new car that is being launched in Pakistan no matter how renowned or even unheard the automaker is, whether its a market car or an out of market one, and whether the vehicle is backed by proper nationwide 3S support or not. Amusingly even those deprived of any proper presence in the country are proud to claim about the ‘overwhelming response’.
It will become clear in forthcoming days about the true picture of Kia Stonic bookings & actual sales. However as per company sources, the vehicle will be delivered a month after the bookings which is made against 100% payment.
The PIDE researchers urged that regulations must be made to creating a market structure that facilitates all market players and not tilting to one side only. Government regulators must fulfill their duty to protect the rights of consumers by crippling the unregulated power at the hands of auto manufacturers, the research concluded.
What is your opinion regarding Kia Stonic’s overwhelming response? Let us know with your comments.
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