Yesterday the news regarding Renault hinting to start production of their vehicles in Pakistan spread like wild fire. The news was confirmed by Groupe Renault in their official tweet which confirms that their negotiations with Gandhara & Al Futtaim group are underway. Moreover the company will utilize Gandhara Nissan’s assembly plant in Karachi to produce their vehicles in Pakistan.
This is no surprise since Renault & Nissan are part of a global alliance and utilizing an existing facility makes sense rather than to start all the way from scratch. The revival of this plant may also open doors for Nissan branded cars in Pakistan since Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn has recently shown his intent to capitalize the emerging automobile markets.
Renault has a huge automotive portfolio, however in the light of what has been indicated by the Board of Investment (BoI), initially the following vehicles are more likely to be introduced in Pakistan.
The Duster is probably one of the most successful Renault vehicles. Developed and designed by Renault’s Romanian subsidiary, Dacia, the Duster is a compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) available with an array of engine and transmission options. However the price indicated by BoI officials goes towards the higher side, which is around PKR 25 lac.
In India the base Duster model is priced from INR 8.77 (average ex-showroom price) and goes up to INR 14.01 lac for the fully loaded top-of-the-line version. This is equivalent to PKR 13.64 lac & PKR 21.8 lac respectively. Duster is a successful name in countries such as India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mexico, South Africa, Ukraine, as well as the UAE and South America. The key to Duster’s success in Pakistan is surely going to be its price!
The Kwid is a mini SUV with an 800 cc petrol engine & a price tag starting from just INR 2.79 lac (avg ex-showroom price, equivalent to PKR 4.34 lac) and goes up to INR 4.1 lac (avg ex-showroom price, equivalent to PKR 6.38 lac) for the fully loaded version. If priced this low it has the potential to sweep the low budget car market in Pakistan.
With a 1.2 liter engine it can compete with the likes of Suzuki Celerio, price staring from INR 5.17 lac (average ex-showroom price, equivalent to PKR 8.04 lac). A diesel version is also available for sale in India. However since the diesel prices are on a high and local diesel cars are already out of production it’s unlikely for us to get diesel cars.
There are a lot of factors which will affect the price of these cars, though it’s too early to predict anything at this stage, but the key to success for Renault would be to price these cars sensibly, backed by frequent availability of spares & proper after-sales support.
Renault’s plan to assemble cars in Pakistan is indeed the dawning of a new era in automobile sector of our country. With an impressive range of vehicles, and considering their success across the border, one may expect to see sensibly priced cars with better value-for-money soon running on our roads.