Suzuki Ravi is the lone option in the entry-level commercial pickup segment. For almost 4 decades, small and medium-sized businesses, fleet operators, and commercial loading individuals have looked to Ravi as their first choice.
However, in the last couple of years, sales of Ravi have taken a toll, particularly in the presence of the 3-wheel loaders available in the market which are not only outrageously cheaper when compared to Ravi, but offer even cheaper maintenance, better utility, and greater load bearing capabilities.
At its peak, Suzuki Ravi sold 29,825 units in FY2015-16 (averaging 2,485 units a month). Even in FY2017-18 Ravi clocked 21,506 units (averaging 1,792 units a month). However, in FY2022-23, only 3,808 units of Ravi were sold rendering a monthly average of just 317 units. But things have got even worse so far during the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
Pak Suzuki has managed to sell only 607 units of Ravi during the first 3 months of this fiscal year which reflects an average monthly sales of just 202 units. This is a deplorable 92% decline from its prime a few years back. In the first quarter of the previous fiscal year, Suzuki saw 815 units of Ravi leaving the showroom floors for a monthly average of 271 units. Accordingly, the quarterly sales for the current year are 25% lower than their low point of FY22–23.
Although there isn’t any specific information on individual 3-wheel loader sales, the PAMA sales charts show that 4,586 three-wheelers (including rickshaws) have been sold so far in Q1-FY23-24 compared to 4,606 units during the first quarter of the previous fiscal year. This represents a marginal 0.4% difference. Also, note that only four companies share their sales data with PAMA (Pakistan Automobile Manufacturers Association), these include Qingqi, Sazgar, United and Road Prince, while there are literally innumerable number of 3-wheel loaders available in the market.
Pak Suzuki is offering various incentives to customers with the purchase of Ravi but all in vain. Today, the Suzuki Ravi costs a whopping PKR 18.56 lac, while the loaders which are available from as low as Rs 185,000 have definitely become a choice for many. The more expensive & powerful fully loaded variants may even cost up to Rs 500,000 with features such as electric start, disc brakes, digital meter, and fancy visors. However as we have checked the market, even smaller variants with prices less than Rs 250,000 have most of these features (including the hydraulic lifters). The only thing that primarily differs is the engine and load-bearing capacity.
3-wheeler loaders are also being widely used for food carts & other small businesses benefitting entrepreneurs & small startups and helping the economy to move forward in these tough times of rising inflation & joblessness.
Even the priciest 3-wheel loader costs less than half as much as the Suzuki Ravi and most are up to four times less expensive than the Suzuki’s outdated pickup. Suzuki Ravi may have an advantage in its own market, but these practical and less expensive 3-wheel loaders have undoubtedly developed a market of their own and impacted the sales of Suzuki Ravi.
Even after more than four decades of assembling, Pak Suzuki has yet to make a decision regarding the future of Bolan and Ravi in Pakistan. The replacement is long due, and the duo, particularly Ravi is badly suffering from diminished sales. How long the more than 4-decades-old Ravi will be dragged here in our market, well.. only Suzuki knows.
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