Honda Atlas is considering introducing a locally-assembled version of its crossover SUV, Vezel, as Pakistan sees a growing popularity of the car segment, Business Recorder learnt on Thursday.
The source, privy to the development, on condition of anonymity said the company has been testing the Honda Vezel H-RV in Pakistan, and evaluating its feasibility. The source added that presently, the company was testing a petrol variant.
While still at an early stage, the development comes as Pakistan sees a greater market share of crossover SUVs in the face of rising car prices.
Despite the price-hikes, the SUV segment has jumped from 5% market share to 20% in three years as a number of companies launched several cars including KIA Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, MG Motors MG-HS, DFSK Glory, Proton X70 and Oshan X7.
According to a study conducted by Changan Pakistan, the SUV segment, if it sustains the growth trajectory, may become the biggest car segment at 37% by 2030.
Meanwhile, former chairman at the Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) Mashood Khan said market talks are rife that Honda has been assessing feasibility of launching a crossover SUV.
“If you go back six months, you will see significant growth in the auto sector. It has certainly been a time when auto companies would think about bringing more models to snatch a share,” he said.
Khan said H-RV is a better option when compared with the BR-V, a vehicle the company has been selling in the country for a few years.
However, the former PAAPAM chief said the present scenario of the auto sector and the economy's precarious position could force car assemblers to delay their plans.
Another auto parts manufacturer, Aamir Allawala, said Toyota's plan to launch its crossover SUV, the hybrid Corolla Cross, is also aimed at tapping the same market segment.