The automobile market in Pakistan is witnessing a hasty transition as buyers of sedans are shifting towards SUVs particularly since the likes of Corolla Altis variants and Honda Civic have touched, or exceeded PKR 4.0 million range and the presence of competitively priced SUVs such as the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson have started to tilt buyer preferences in their favor.

The Kia Sportage in particular is going exceptionally well due to the absence of a local assembled SUV in that price range, plus it punches above its weight with its features & equipment, powerful engine, superior suspension, drive comfort and the feel of being elevated. The SUV market is likely to grow in years to come as more & more companies are beginning to tap the segment; Al-Haj’s Proton X70 SUV is in the pipeline whereas Indus Motor Company has already indicated to introduce the Toyota Corolla Cross in Pakistan.

Now as per reports, different Auto Motors are thinking to dominate and grab the niche SUV market. The companies are  grabbing the spots in addition to sedans is planning to launch 2-3 SUV models by June 2021 to reap the benefit of automotive policy 2016-21; and may later come up with SUVs.

The Auto Policy 2016-2021 has already given us multiple brand new cars such as the Kia Sportage, the Hyundai Ioniq and many other options of SUV will be available in domestic automobile market in coming year. There are a few that will be coming this year. Let’s take a look at the list of potential competitors in the market and the new entrance in the market i-e 2021.

Toyota Yaris

The first one on the list is the Toyota Yaris, which has already been spotted on the roads in the country as the company looks to launch it in the next few months. It will be replacing the Corolla XLi and GLi models which the company is looking to discontinue this year.

Proton X70

The Malaysian High Commission in the country tweeted a week ago that the Malaysian locally assembled SUV; Proton X70 will be launching in Pakistan very soon and we hope to see it this year. It is the first-ever top-of-the-line SUV manufactured by the Malaysian company. It has both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive variants and is powered by a 1.8L TGDi engine.

Changan CX70T

The Changan CX70T was seen on the roads in Pakistan as Master Motors look to open the gateway of the country by introducing the Changan CX70T in Pakistan this year. The SUV has a seating capacity of upto 7 adults and it is powered by a 1.5L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. It has both manual and automatic variants. This SUV has also been seen on the roads of Lahore as a test drive. The test drive spotted close to Arfa Karim Tower, Ferozepur Road with a left hand drive.

Ghandhara Nissan JAC T6

The pickup by Ghandhara Nissan is expected to be available in the local automobile market in the start of fisacal year 2021.Aand according to the reports; the Ghandhara Nissan JAC T6 will have a 2.0L turbo diesel engine coupled with a 6-speed manual transmission. This pickup has been designed especially by keeping in mind the industrial cutler and the northern areas of country which are full of mountains and becoming the hotspot of tourism domestically and internationally as well.

Hyundai Tucson

Another Hyundai favorite, the Tucson, has been unleashed almost 2 months ago and seen in the market this year. Hyundai Tucson has 2 variants. And it featured a 2.0L engine coupled with a manual or an automatic transmission. This particular SUV is the talk of the town now days. It has huge buyer demand and a lot amount of booking is in place to buy this car.

The Hyundai Tucson started at the price of 5.2 million PKR and 5.5 million PKR. The huge amount of influx by the buyers and shortage of units in the market have increased the invoice of Hyundai Tucson from 5.5 million PKR to 6.6 million PKR and other variants price increased from 5.2 million PKR to 6.2 million PKR. Hyundai is talking advance bookings to deliver car in the March next year i-e 2021.

Proton Exora

Another Proton model will arrive this year and is likely to be powered by a 1.6L CamPro CPS DOHC I4 engine or a 1.6 enL CamPro CFE DOHC I4 Turbo engines. The variants will have options in the transmission department as well with the model being available in a 5-speed manual, 4-speed auto, and 6-speed CVT automatic transmissions.

Proton Saga

Proton after looking to debut its 1.6L CamPro Exora earlier next year, the Malaysian automobile giant is now looking to make a grand entrance in the middle of next year and according to the reports published by the Malaysian and Pakistani media, this particular car; Proton Saga will be their 3rd launch of the company in coming year. The sedan is powered by a 1.3L engine slightly less powerful than 2.0L all-wheel-drive variant and has a sitting capacity of up to 7 people all considered as adults.

Hyundai Sonata

Reportedly, this Hyundai was seen on the roads of Lahore and it makes sense for the company to launch it as it is already looking to bring an SUV and would also look to bring a sedan. The car has multiple variants ranging from the standard one to a top-of-the-line model. In terms of power, it has a 2.5L engine or a 1.6L turbo engine.

Many automobile investors are looking interested in the Pakistan’s automobile industry. The investors are apparently investing into market development in a sector which has largely been ignored. The world is already shifting towards crossover & SUVs after the Auto Policy 2016-2021 which is now the fastest growing vehicle category in global automobile market. Analysts believe SUVs will overtake sedans currently the most popular category in terms of global sales volume in near future and it’s good to see Lucky Motors is all set to embrace the change.

By Mariam Zameer

Author is doing BS in International Relation from Lahore College for Women University. She is a freelance writer. Previously worked with The Frontier Post, Dawn and Express Tribune.

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