About Pak Suzuki
Pakistan Automobile Corporation (PACO) and Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) – Japan formed Pak Suzuki Motor Company Limited (PSMCL) as a joint venture. In August 1983, the Corporation became a public limited company, and in January 1984, it began commercial operations. Pak Suzuki is a leading manufacturer, assembler, and marketer of Suzuki vehicles who faced a lot of problems in the category of Suzuki Sedan in Pakistan.
Suzuki dominated in the category of small car, small trucks, and small van markets. They also offered a variety of sedans but were unable to achieve the same level of popularity as their compact hatchbacks.
Suzuki Margalla was the first locally assembled Suzuki sedan car, launched in 1992 with, G13 carburetted engine (1300cc). Later on, Power steering was also available in top-of-the-line variants. There were no metallic colors available, no matching bumpers, no crystal headlamps, and the dashboard and interior quality were also suspect. Margalla was available in GL and GLX varieties, with a Margalla Plus upgrade model following later.
After the debut of the Honda City Sx8 in 1997, Margalla sales were getting down, they manage to sell 6000 units a year, only managed to sell roughly 3000 units a year. Suzuki attempted to compete with Honda City with an upgraded dashboard and slight visual modifications dubbed the Margalla Plus, but it was unsuccessful to compete with City Sx8 at that time. In 1998, production was halted to make way for the Suzuki Baleno.
Baleno was introduced in 1998 in a replacement with Margalla. It was introduced in Pakistan, with four variants which are EI (basic model), Gli, GXI, and 1.6GTI. The EI, GLI, and GXI had 1.3L engines, while the 1.6GTI had a 1.6L engine. Baleno was the first 1300cc car in our market to offer an ‘Electronic Fuel Injection system (EFI).
In 2002, Pak-Suzuki facelifted the Baleno with a whole new lineup, including the JXR, JXL, and Sports variants. It comes with an Engine Immobilizer. The Sports version featured nothing remarkable other than minor luxury enhancements; the 1.3L engine remained the same, with no changes in horsepower. Unfortunately, It was the time when the 9th generation E120 Corolla was introduced in Pakistan, following a nine-year wait for the 8th generation Corolla, everyone was inspired by the modern look of an all-new Corolla at that time.
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Furthermore, Honda replaced its Sx8 model with GD Honda City (IDSI), Baleno looked outdated, with a low flat hood and classic 90s look. In 2005, Pak Suzuki finally says goodby to legendary Suzuki Baleno and replaced it with Suzuki Liana.
Suzuki unveiled the Liana sedan in 2006 as a successor for the Baleno, which was becoming obsolete. Liana has left a bad taste in people’s mouths, and there are several reasons for this. It started with a Suzuki, whose spare parts were as pricey as Honda’s. People anticipate Suzuki’s to be inexpensive because they have been since the 1970s. Liana’s appearance was the next concern; the design was never much admired. Despite the car’s considerable height, the low front bumpers were frequently scraped against speed breakers and potholes.
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In our market, Suzuki has yet to introduce a replacement for the Liana. It is fair to argue that they have lost ground in the 1300cc sedan market. Pak Suzuki introduced the 1300cc Swift hatchback in 2010. Although the car has been offered in international markets since 2004, Pak Suzuki was six years behind schedule in bringing it to Pakistan despite the fact that Swift used the same M13A engine as the Liana, Still, it’s reported to have a better head and doesn’t cause the problems that Liana did. Suzuki halted Liana assembling in 2014 with some impressive sales results for a Suzuki-badged car in Pakistan.
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After two years of Globally discontinuation, Pak Suzuki launched Suzuki Kizashi in February 2015 here in Pakistan with a Price tag of PKR 5.0 million offered in a 2.4-liter four-cylinder petrol engine with a 6-speed manual transmission or CVT variants. It is supposed that this car could be a competitor of Honda Accord & Toyota Camry which was available in various engine options i.e ranging from 2.0 to 3.5 liters, with petrol, diesel, and hybrid variants available but due to “Suzuki Label” people unable to accept and never wants to give it a place of those premium sector sedans vehicles. Suzuki officials describe Kizashi as a ‘very unlucky car’ for the brand. It is also considered that Kizashi would have done better if it was placed in the 1.8 to 2.0-liter category. Suzuki Kizashi silently discontinued in just a year with absolutely zero sales in Pakistan.
Pak Suzuki launched Suzuki Ciaz in February 2017 with a 1.4-liter engine available in both manual and CVT transmission. The car was imported from Thailand into Pakistan as a ‘Complete-Builtup Unit’ (CBU), and it was priced ridiculously expensive, as is normal for all automakers in Pakistan when it comes to CBUs.
In 2017, the automatic variant was priced at Rs. 1.84 million, while the manual variant was priced at Rs. 1.7 million. This was the time when the base Honda City, which was considered to be its main competitor, cost Rs. 1.53 million, while the top-of-the-line City Aspire 1.5 Automatic cost Rs. 1.82 million, which was still less than Ciaz’s Automatic Variant.
In Pakistan, however, the Ciaz was a stripped-down version that lacked more than a dozen regular functions. According to Suzuki dealers, the decision to withdraw Ciaz was made due to the vehicle’s poor market demand. Before being discontinued, the automobile was priced at PKR 23.0 lac for the manual and PKR 25.0 lac for the automatic.
All in all, Pak Suzuki never took the Ciaz seriously in Pakistan, despite the fact that the car had the ability to outperform the likes of the 5th generation City and the 1.3L Corolla variations if it was priced correctly and had all of the standard options seen in other regions.
So these are the problems faced by Suzuki Sedan Category in Pakistan. Suzuki is intended to be a “Common Man’s” brand, one thing we know for sure. And unless it can deliver a reasonably priced sedan of good quality on the market, their efforts will always flop.