Kia Lucky Motors (KLM) has launched its much-awaited all-wheel 2000 CC SUV. The company claims that Kia Sportage is Pakistan’s first All-Wheel Drive car with 100,000 km or 4 years warranty.
Kia Sportage comes in two variants – top of the line All-Wheel Drive (AWD) version and a Front Wheel Drive variant.
“We promised that we will introduce high-tech specifications and innovation and we have started setting the benchmark for the industry already,” said confident looking CEO of Kia Lucky Motors, Asif Rizvi while addressing the media at a press briefing today.
Asif Rizvi informed that KLM has invested US$ 175 million on setting up a new state of the art auto manufacturing plant with a capacity of 50,000 units per year. Kia’s 4 year or 100,000 km warranty is a pleasant surprise for Pakistani consumers and the response to Sportage pre-bookings is a promising sign for the company.
The SUV was introduced to meet a demand gap in the local market in this price range. Previously, Kia Sportage models were launched in Pakistan in 1999, 2002 and 2005.
We have received an overwhelming response to the Kia Sportage from our customers. Kia Sportage limited quantity, which was introduced at introductory prices, was completely sold out in just 10 days. Apart from being the first All-Wheel Drive locally assembled vehicle, Kia Sportage will have panoramic sunroof and several smarts features that Pakistani consumers will enjoy for the first time in any locally produced vehicle.
Asif Rizvi informed that KLM currently has 15 dealers across Pakistan and has a 3-year program to expand its dealer network in all major cities of the country.
Asif Rizvi said that Pakistani consumers had limited choices of brands and models. There were long waiting periods and some consumers even had to pay a premium to get their vehicles delivered early, but after the new entrants come to the market, consumers won’t have to pay any premium or wait months for delivery of vehicles.
With the introduction of the new entrants in the local auto sector, customer satisfaction will also improve and we are confident that the consumers will benefit, in terms of warranty period and improvement in service quality. We want to increase the Pakistani consumers’ confidence in locally produced vehicles and Kia will make sure that its products and services attract the consumers to buy locally produced Kia vehicles.
Kia vehicles will have Euro II engines as per the fuel options available in Pakistan. Talking about the tax concession for the new entrants, Asif Rizvi said that the concessions have been given to attract new investment in the auto sector and thus increase the choices and options of locally produced vehicles for the Pakistani buyers.
The existing players have a huge localization advantage over the new comers in this sector. He said that it would take any new entrant at least 5 years to achieve similar levels of localization, hence the tax concession given by the government is to ensure level playing field for all auto players.
Asif Rizvi said that Kia Lucky Motors has entered into the Pakistani market with a long-term commitment. The Younus Brothers Group (YBG) is a very reputable entrepreneurial business group. YBG has now taken the challenge to enter into the Auto sector and YBG’s partnership with Kia, which is the manifestations of the government’s new entrant policy.
He thanked the Board of Investment, Ministry of Production and Industries and the Engineering Development Board for taking this bold step for the advancement of the automobile manufacturing industry in Pakistan for the benefit of the consumer.
Since inception, Kia has introduced painting robots at its plant to give a superior paint quality to its customers. Kia has also equipped its plant with full-body Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) and a very well designed Test Track mirroring Pakistan’s actual road conditions, all to ensure the best quality and ultimate customer satisfaction.