LAHORE: The hottest topic in Pakistan’s automobile industry today is the upcoming range of Hyundai hybrid cars being assembled in the country by the Nishat group.
The Nishat group, one of the biggest conglomerates in the country, has been planning to enter the automobile industry since as far back as 2012. However, it seems that the Government’s Automotive Police 2016-21 unveiled in March last year, has prompted a jump to the sector as Hyundai reportedly got in touch with the Nishat Group after its unveiling and the multi-faceted industrial group had no qualms about jumping at the opportunity.
Back when the new line of cars had first been announced, it was reported that the Nishat Group was pouring an investment of around $120 million into setting up an assembly plant near Faisalabad. However, the biggest cause of speculation then had been that both the joint venture partners have yet to decide from which models to start production, cars with 800cc engines or 1000cc engines.
Now it seems as if the Hyundai-Nishat partnership is hinting at exactly what models they will be launching once they begin production and join the market.
The Hyundai-Nishat website, however, is something that gives car enthusiasts, prospective buyers and observers of the market some idea of exactly which of Hyundai’s hybrid vehicles will be assembled and launched by the Nishat Group.
The website displays four cars, two SUVs and two Sedans. The locally produced Hyundai cars set to hit the markets are all going to be hybrid cars, which will mean they are fuel efficient and run on car batteries as opposed to fuel up until the speed of 60 KPH. The currently available hybrid cars on the market are all Japanese reconditioned models including the Toyota Prius and Toyota Aquas and the new Camry. These prospective cars will be the first locally produced hybrid models.
The two SUVs displayed on the site, which will naturally come with a higher price tag are the Hyundai Creta and the Hyundai Tuscon. They should be expected to give serious competition to the current line of SUVs that are below the Toyota V8 level but still popular with customers with deeper pockets. These include the Toyota Fortuner, Suzuki Vitara and the Honda BRV.
The sedans, on the other hand, will find it a little harder to come onto the market with the already well established Toyota Corolla and the Honda City to compete with. It is not clear where exactly the price range for these cars will hover, but they are sold somewhere around the 1 million mark in neighbouring India. If Nishat can manage to keep the prices down to the 1.5 million point, then the current market can be expected to get some serious competition and Suzuki’s already struggling attempt to join the Sedan market with the Ciaz might be completely drowned out.
Whatever decision the Hyundai-Nishat partnership ends up taking, one thing that is sure is that car enthusiasts will be waiting with bated breath to see what products they come up with. The competition too will be going back to the drawing boards, especially given how local manufacturers have also picked up in introducing new products after the government’s 2016-21 policy and Nishat’s subsequent entry into the industry.