Although the past few years, especially 2023, have been nothing short of a nightmare for the local auto sector, it has had a disastrous impact on a few assemblers. While industry stakeholders have expressed optimism that the market and car sales will recover in the post-election environment, we will have to wait and see if this is true.
While the industry as a whole is going through testing times, the automakers listed below have practically been written off the market. It will be interesting to see if they can rise from the ashes in 2024.
Sazgar has been enjoying a fairy tale experience with its Haval venture, but struggling badly with the BAIC one. Although it was supposed to launch an array of vehicles including sedans, hatchbacks, and crossovers, the only vehicle it sells is the BJ40 Plus SUV which is struggling to leave the showroom floors and despite being on the market for over 2 years has failed to make an impact.
Having sold only 141 units in 2023, down 61% compared to 468 units sold in 2022, and a monthly sales average of just around 11.75 units, will the BJ40 Plus be able to bounce back in 2024?
One brand that exemplifies consistency is Isuzu. Since entering our market in late 2018, it has managed to remain rooted at the extreme bottom of the domestic sales charts. With just 138 units throughout 2023 of its only product in Pakistan— the D-Max, which saw 61% fewer sales than the 352 units sold in 2022, and a dismal monthly sales average of 11.5 units, will the D-Max be able to bounce back in 2024?
Chery has been another missed opportunity for a very potent brand. Together with Ghandhara, Chery introduced the Tiggo 4 Pro and Tiggo 8 Pro SUVs in Pakistan. However, the company declared that it would be suspending production for an undetermined amount of time due to restrictions on imports, and it hasn’t started selling the vehicles again. PAMA sales data also reveals that production numbers have been missing for more than 6 months, raising serious doubts about Chery’s potential comeback in 2024.
Even though the company has been studying whether to introduce its other brands, Omoda and Jaecoo, into our market, you may have noticed that it has been promoting a questionnaire on social media about the two brands in question. However, given Chery’s dire circumstances in Pakistan, it is unlikely that Omoda or Jaecoo will see a formal introduction this year.
Proton may be ranked first on a list of the worst, or more accurately, the most poorly managed brands in Pakistan. After entering the market more than three years ago, the company has yet to deliver most of the units for which it has collected bookings from customers, yet it dares to blatantly raise prices by a significant amount and slap the increase on the consumers instead of compensating the enormous delay due to its sheer incompetence.
To make matters worse, customers who had their bookings canceled are looking at the sky and praying for a refund because Proton’s cheques consistently bounce because there aren’t enough funds in their venture partner’s (Al-Haj Automotive) accounts. Will 2024 finally see the customers getting their hands on the Proton vehicles which they booked a couple of years ago, only time will tell.
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