Pak Suzuki is notorious for dragging their models for ages. They are still continuing with the Ravi & Bolan (originally the 7th gen ST-90 Carry variants) for more than 40 years. The MK-I Swift (Khyber) was sold for over a decade, and they dragged the MK-II Cultus for 17 years & before that they were selling its sedan variant (Margalla) for nearly a decade. The 5th gen Alto was dragged for 12 years before it was forced to be discontinued due to enforcement of Euro-II regulations. And of course, the 2nd gen Alto aka Mehran which the company kept selling for 30 years before it was discontinued in favor of the 8th-generation Alto 660cc in 2019.
Mehran was Pak Suzuki’s bestselling car and the primary bread earner. However, in all these years the sales of Mehran hovered around 30,000 units a year on average for most of the period it was on sale. Apart from an exceptional figure from FY2017-18 when 46,221 units were sold. It was believed that since Mehran was the simplest of cars to maintain and the cheapest on sale in the market, no other car would be able to sell higher than this. But the success of Alto 660cc proved otherwise.
Despite being much more expensive than the 800cc Mehran, the Alto 660cc became the bestselling car in Pakistan within no time. Obviously, because it’s the cheapest & the only mass-produced option currently available in our market since the likes of United Bravo & Prince Pearl due to their pipetting production capacity & limited nationwide presence are yet to create any troubles whatsoever for the entry-level Suzuki hatchback.
Since its launch, the Alto has breached Suzuki’s highest monthly sales record for an individual model multiple times already and has recently helped the company to achieve the highest ever sales in a month in July 2021 since Pak Suzuki’s inception in the country. Mehran’s highest-ever monthly sales figure was 4,684 units however Alto went on to post similar numbers quite a few times already, in fact, it sold 4,924 units in September 2019, and recently record-breaking 6,110 units in July 2021.
In FY2019-20, despite the pandemic Alto managed to post sales of 30,916 units, and the following year in FY2020-21 managed to sell 37,720 units– much higher than the sales of Suzuki Mehran. However, the results from the first four months of FY21-22 are even more astonishing. Pak Suzuki has been able to sell 20,773 units of Alto in 4M-FY21-22 which is a staggering 97% higher than the 10,544 units sold in the same period of the previous fiscal year.
The average monthly sales of Alto during the corresponding period happens to be 5,193 units which is 11% more than the highest-ever sales of Suzuki Mehran in a month which was 4,684 units. With this, the 8th gen Suzuki Alto 660cc is on the path to setting a unique sales record in Pakistan. Currently, the highest sales number in a year belongs to 11th gen Toyota Corolla which witnessed sales of 57,452 units in FY2015-16. If Alto maintains its momentum, then it will easily surpass sales of 60,000 units in a year quite easily, which will be the first for any locally assembled car in Pakistan.
The success of Alto 660cc preaches us a few things. Newer and better products will always become successful among the people and it never justifies dragging the older ones thinking no new model can achieve similar results. This should also encourage other players such as Honda and Toyota to introduce locally assembled 660cc Kei cars in Pakistan instead of leaving the playfield empty for Suzuki only. Both Honda and Toyota have some very promising Kei cars that are sold in the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) and must be considered to be introduced here.
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