United Motors is planning to discontinue the 800cc Bravo and 1000cc Alpha hatchbacks. It is rumored that the company will shift back its focus on 2- and 3-wheeler production, thus wrapping up its operations of 4-wheeler business.
The Bravo was launched back in September 2018 as an alternative to Suzuki Mehran, however due to its build quality issues and limited nationwide network the car wasn’t able to become a success as much as it was anticipated. Sources also say that United was not satisfied with quality standards of Dahe, the principal responsible for producing the DH350s due to which there has been no supply of the CKD kits since a long time.
However the company is yet unable to get rid of the stocks it already have. Interestingly however, United has been increasing the price of Bravo in regular intervals despite no new kits being imported. The company was also supposed to launch Punjnad commercial pickup, but that move never materialized. Plus an automatic variant of Bravo was supposed to be launched in Q1, 2020 but that never happened too.
Related: United Bravo- From Leak to Launch
In January 2021, United launched the 1000cc Alpha hatchback which was originally a first-gen Chery QQ facelift, that was discontinued in China several years ago. Sources say, United’s move to approach Chery was also because of its dissatisfaction with Dahe regarding the quality issues of Bravo hatchback. At the launch ceremony, the company officials revealed plans to introduce more (Chery branded) vehicles in Pakistan including sedan, SUVs and vans, as well as an electric version of United Alpha that was supposed to help the company position itself to benefit from the new EV policy.
However with Chery officially teaming up with Ghandhara, it was only expected that United will get their hands on retired Chery models such as the Alpha (1st gen QQ). But as far as the sales are concerned, the Alpha was never able to come even close to the sales of Bravo hatchback. Interestingly again, the price of Alpha was revised couple of times in 2021 with no new CKD kits arriving in the country.
Apart from quality issues, both the hatchbacks were available in manual transmission only which is considered a drawback due to extensive driving fatigue in congested traffic situations these days. The poor public response also shows that new companies cannot just rely on selling globally retired models, plus selling 4-wheelers is a completely different domain than selling 2- and 3-wheelers, so the problems in providing proper after sales support is quite understandable. United’s biggest dealership in Lahore called United Bedian Motors has also been converted into Prince Bedian Motors, thus affirming the darker clouds on the future of United cars in Pakistan.
United Bedian Motors is now Prince Bedian Motors
Whether United will introduce some other models after discontinuing Bravo and Alpha is yet to be known at this stage. Maybe a newer automatic hatchback called Charlie can do wonders for the company. However if rumors are believed to be true, United will simply wrap up its operations in 4-wheeler business. Whats your take on this development, share your input in the comments section below.
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