- Social media abuzz with rumours company was looking to restart production of vehicle that was discontinued during FY19
Pak Suzuki has no plans to relaunch its Mehran model in Pakistan, a company official told Business Recorder, putting to rest rumours that the automaker was looking to restart production of its top-selling vehicle in the country.
“Mehran is history. The company has no plans to relaunch the car in Pakistan,” said the official.
The statement comes after social media became abuzz with rumours that Pak Suzuki Motor was looking to reintroduce the widely popular Mehran model amid the rapid surge in automobile prices in the country.
During its three-decade production run, Suzuki Mehran, while boasting high sales, was criticised by the market and consumers for introducing minor and cosmetic changes.
However, when the company decided to discontinue its production in 2019, followers of the automobile sector termed it an ill-advised decision.
“Mehran was the best option available for first-time car buyers,” said an official of an automobile company in Pakistan. “It was the cheapest car available and a far safer option than a motorcycle. It was severely criticised but it was in the larger interest for car buyers in Pakistan.”
When in production, Mehran was among the most popular cars in the country. Despite lacking safety features, Suzuki sold 29,500 Mehran units in fiscal year 2013-14 when overall car sales barley clocked in at over 118,000 units for a market share of 25%. It also dominated the sales charts in 2007-08 with 35,500 units when total volume of all passenger cars amounted to under 165,000.
In 2017-18, the vehicle enjoyed a market share of 21% with 46,220 units sold against total car sales of 217,000 units.
During fiscal year 2018-19 Suzuki announced to discontinue the vehicle when Mehran alone had a market share of 15.4%. That year, Suzuki sold 32,000 Mehran units against overall passenger car sales of 207,700, according to data available with Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA).
However, since its launch in 1989, Mehran had seen minor facelifts and only witnessed a slight up-gradation of its engine in 2013.
After discontinuing the car, Suzuki replaced Mehran with an Alto 660cc whose cheapest variant is currently being sold at nearly Rs1.5 million in Pakistan.