- Development surprising because of the much-higher price tag of Sonata
Hyundai Nishat Motor sold more units of its D-segment Sonata sedan in comparison with the lower-cost Elantra during July, according to automobile sales data released earlier.
Pakistan Automobile Manufacturers Association’s (PAMA) monthly car sales data for July revealed that the company sold 163 units of its 8th generation mid-sized sedan against 157 units of the 6th generation compact C-segment sedan, which is much cheaper in price.
The development comes as a surprise for followers as Sonata was launched just last month. The 6th-gen Elantra was introduced in Pakistan in March 2021 while the 8th-gen Sonata was officially introduced in July 2021. Both cars are being locally assembled at the company's plant in Faisalabad.
The upgraded Sonata is priced at Rs6.39 million for its base 2.0L variant, while its top-of-the-line 2.5L variant has a price tag of Rs7.09 million.
However, it remains one of the cheaper cars among its own competitors, including Toyota Camry and Honda Accord that cost Rs18.6 million and 11.9 million, respectively. Experts believe data for the coming months would help determine if the car's popularity sustains.
Meanwhile, Hyundai Elantra failed to make an impact in its own segment. Since its launch in March 2021, Elantra's sales stand at 1,014 units in five months at an average of 202 units. As a comparison, Toyota Corolla sold over 2,300 units in July 2021 alone.
The primary reason, market believes, is that the South Korean automotive company is still selling the obsolete 6th generation that has been replaced all over the world with newer models.
Another reason is that Elantra competes with the likes of Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla that have a huge fan base in Pakistan.
Overall car sales
Meanwhile, overall passenger car sales increased by 104% year-on-year in July courtesy a lower benchmark in 2020 due to the Covid-induced slowdown as well as the government measures announced in the budget. The measures were aimed at reducing car prices that went into effect in the mid of July.
Automotive companies sold 20,669 units in July, more than double when compared to 10,123 units in the corresponding period last year when car sales were generally low due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, a low interest rate has made auto financing more affordable.
Pak Suzuki Motor Company Ltd. (PSMCL) and Indus Motor Company Ltd (MC) led the chart with the highest-ever monthly sales.
Toyota saw its car sales increase year-on-year from 1,528 units (Corolla) to 2,320 units in July. Its sales of Yaris increased from 1,883 in July 2020 to 2,700 in July 2021.