Hyundai opens digital store in Karachi, unveils ‘Ioniq’ hybrid car

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KARACHI: Hyundai Nishat Motor (Private) Limited (HNMPL) on Tuesday unveiled its ‘Ioniq’ hybrid car while inaugurating its digital showroom at the Emerald Tower in Karachi.

The digital showroom has been developed under the ‘city store’ concept, supplementing traditional showrooms with a convenient, fully digitalised retail experience.

HNMPL COO Tatsuya Sato said that he compares Pakistan to what Indonesia used to be – having great potential for the industry.

“The things which enticed us to come to Pakistan was its population, age-group (youth) and the passion for cars,” Sato told reporters.

However, he said that the auto industry has been struggling at the hands of volatile currency. “But Pakistan has huge potential…even to export cars.”

HNMPL is a joint venture with an investment of $150 million – 60pc coming from Pakistan partners and the remaining 40pc from the Japanese partner.

The cars HNMPL is selling at the moment are all imported, completely built units (CBUs) and the company would start manufacturing in January next with H1 100 Trucks having 20pc level of localisation, which would reach up to 45pc in five years.

Sato said that Hyundai, as per its international vision, would also start electrification of its cars as soon as the environment is conducive. He urged the government to encourage the use of electric cars and ensure availability of electric stations.

Nishat Group’s Hasan Mansha was also present on the occasion to sign memorandums of understanding with the partners.

Ioniq is a hybrid car, which has an electric motor and 1.6L GDI 6-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission. Apart from Ioniq, ‘Grand Starex – MPV’ which is a 2.4L petrol engine with seating-capacity for 12 persons, and ‘Santa Fe – Luxury All-Wheel Drive SUV’ powered by a 2.4L gasoline engine with seating-capacity for seven persons, were also displayed at the digital showroom.

All these models are imported from Korea and provide coverage for four years or 100,000km, whichever comes first.

Sato said that there are three more passenger cars, which will be introduced by Hyundai in Pakistan. However, he didn’t specify what engine size the cars would be. A source told this scribe that two of the cars would fall in the 1,000cc or less category.

HNMPL’s new manufacturing facility occupies 67 acres of land in Faisalabad with annual production capacity up to 15,000 units. HNMPL is a joint venture company among three leading international businesses; Nishat Group, Sojitz Corporation (Japan) and Millat Tractors Ltd.

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