Competition is something that rarely exists in our automobile market. With the market dominated by 3 Japanese players, hardly any two available vehicles compete with each other in a price bracket or segment.
However after the new Auto Policy 2016-21 was announced, the Big 3 of our market (Suzuki, Toyota and Honda) were quick to either update their lineup or bring about improvements in their existing offerings.
Immobilizer became available with Mehran, Corolla and City (optional). The 17 year old Cultus was replaced with the Celerio hatchback, that too with Airbags & ABS (VXL). Pak Suzuki also threw in the imported Vitara SUV and Ciaz sedan while Toyota Indus Motors updated their Fortuner and Hilux range while recently updated the Corolla with an improved facelift. Although Honda Atlas has been dragging the 5th gen City since ages, they had launched the 10th gen Civic in 2016 and introduced the BR-V 7 seater in our market earlier this year.
Related: Honda BR-V Becoming the Most Successful 7-seater in Pakistan
Although 7 seaters were available in our market before but were never so popular among buyers until the BR-V came into the scene. The latest Honda’s offering is doing quite fine in terms of sales in its segment and with an average monthly sales of over 700 units a month, has a waiting period of up to 5 months should you opt to book the vehicle today. The other three 7 seaters in our market, the Toyota Avanza, FAW Sirius and the Suzuki APV were never able to see this success despite available for quite some time now.
The APV is the oldest available option among the segment launched way back in 2006. Sold as an import, the APV looks outdated with its typical van-like boxy design, particularly in a time when modern MPVs are influenced with SUV inspired styling. Its sales aren’t impressive either and Pak Suzuki is least bothered to think about updating or simply replacing the APV with a better option.
Now in a time when the BR-V is getting attention of those who travel along with 7 people, Pak Suzuki can sure think about replacing the APV with a much better Ertiga MPV which has got all the potential to take on the Honda BR-V.
Based on the Suzuki Swift platform, the Ertiga was first introduced in India and Indonesia in 2012, followed by Philippines, Malaysia and South Africa in 2014. The Ertiga competes with the likes of Toyota Innova, Toyota Avanza, Honda Mobilio, Honda, BR-V, Daihatsu Xenia, Renault Lodgy and Nissan Grand Livina in competition driven markets.
Related: Four 7 Seater MPVs You Can Buy
The name Ertiga is said be an adaptation of R-Tiga where “Tiga” means “three” in Indonesian, the “R” stands for Rows. Therefore, “Ertiga” is derived from “R3” which in turn means “(Swift with) Three Rows.”
There are a lot of reasons why the Ertiga can be given preference over the aging APV, or the Honda BR-V in our market, for example:
The Ertiga is a good looking 7 seater, unlike the APV which is a typical van in appearance; the Ertiga has much better visual appearance and can compete well against the BR-V as it does in other Asian markets.
Fuel Efficient Engine:
The APV carries an old G15A engine with a claimed fuel economy of 12km per liter. On the other hand the Ertiga is powered by a modern K14B engine with fuel economy figures of 17 km per liter for automatic and 17.5 km per liter for manual variants.
Manual & Automatic Transmission
The Honda BR-V comes with CVT as standard transmission in Pakistan, however internationally the Ertiga comes with both manual and automatic transmission options, which may give an edge to Ertiga should Pak Suzuki considers launching one here.
In India the Ertiga is priced from INR 6.5 lac for the base LXi variant which converts into PKR 10.6 lac. whereas the top-of-the-line ZXi+ costs INR 8.8 lac which translates into PKR 14.3 lac. Although we don’t expect Pak Suzuki to launch the Ertiga at this price, but certainly its easily possible for them to place it well below the rival BR-V.
Related: GIIAS 2017: Mitsubishi Xpander Makes Official Debut
The Ertiga facelift is also around the corner, the design now looks more reminiscent of the new 4th generation Swift. The facelift will launch in Indonesia in early 2018.
The launch of the Ertiga in Pakistan will surely help Pak Suzuki compete with the Honda BR-V much more effectively rather than dragging the unsuccessful APV since ages. Do you think Pak Suzuki should replace the APV with Ertiga 7 seater, 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