It’s no secret that Pakistan’s economic conditions are not looking good these days. A lot of it can be attributed to the outbreak of the Coronavirus, whereby, numerous industries have had to completely shut down, which resulted in zero production and sales.
The automotive industry also saw a lot of in-demand cars fall from their former glory in terms of production and sales figures. One of these cars happens to be the ‘Legendary’ Toyota Corolla.
First off, a little background. Toyota Indus Motor Company (IMC) began its commercial production in Pakistan in 1993 with a production capacity of 20 cars per day. The first car that they assembled was the 7th generation AE100 Corolla.
The AE100 Corolla is one of the most revered and beloved Corollas in Pakistan because of its simple yet elegant design, reasonable performance, and strong reliability, which is why it remained in production for 9 years in Pakistan. Since then, off the back of Corolla’s success, Toyota IMC has now scaled up production to 275 cars per day and has sold millions of units of the Toyota Corolla in Pakistan.
One of the reasons for the car’s massive success was that it has always been among the very few cars that were offered in multiple variants in Pakistan. For a long time, it was the only locally assembled sedan to be offered with a diesel engine option, which was discontinued with the arrival of the 10th gen Corolla face-lift. Point being, Corolla has always been everything to everyone, hence its success and popularity in the market.
However, this year hasn’t been too kind to Toyota’s old horse. As per the recent data released by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturer Association (PAMA) the sales of Toyota Corolla have plummeted by a significant degree in the past couple of years. During the Financial Year (FY) 2018-19, Toyota sold a total of 56,720 Corolla units.
Whereas, during FY 2019-20, the total number of Corolla units sold across Pakistan was a mere 22,140, which accounts for a decrease of 61% in sales as compared to FY 2018-2019.
As mentioned before, this can be attributed to the COVID-19 outbreak, whereby all the showrooms and manufacturing plants were shut down in April 2020 with no cars leaving the showroom or the manufacturing plant.
Aside from that, we also observed all automakers bump up the prices of their cars by a huge margin this year, resorting to reasons such as the depreciation of Pakistani Rupee vs the US Dollar, and a rise in the manufacturing costs.
But that’s not the only time prices were increased. Here’s a brief snapshot of what went on with the pricing of the Corolla within one year:
|Cars||Prices During Mid 2019 (PKR)||1st Price Revision in Mid 2019 (PKR)||2nd Price Revision by the End of 2019 (PKR)||1st Price Revision in 2020 (PKR)||Increase in price in a Year’s Time (PKR)|
|XLI Manual||2,109,000||2,499,000||2,519,000||(Replaced by Yaris)||410,000|
|XLI Auto||2,184,000||2,599,000||2,619,000||(Replaced by Yaris)||435,000|
|GLI Manual||2,364,000||2,749,000||2,769,000||(Replaced by Yaris)||500,000|
|GLI Auto||2,439,000||2,849,000||2,869,000||(Replaced by Yaris)||430,000|
|1.6 Manual||2,574,000||3,049,000||3,049,000 (No Revision)||3,159,000||585,000|
|1.6 Automatic||2,674,000||3,149,000||3,149,000 (No revision)||3,309,000||635,000|
|Altis 1.8 Manual||3,069,000||3,299,000||3,299,000 (No revision)||3,479,000||410,000|
|Altis 1.8 CVT Auto||3,205,000||3,449,000||3,449,000 (No revision)||3,629,000||424,000|
|Grande Manual SR||3,260,000||3,499,000||3,499,000 (No revision)||3,679,000||419,000|
|Grande CVT Auto SR||3,409,000||3,699,000||3,699,000 (No revision)||3,899,000||490,000|
As evident in the table, Toyota IMC has revised the prices 3 times in one year, with an average of 15% increase in prices as compared to just a year ago. Although there was another increase in prices announced by Toyota IMC close to the announcement of the 2020 budget, mercifully, Toyota Corolla and Yaris didn’t get that price hike.
With the introduction of the Yaris to replacing the Xli and Gli variants of the Corolla, the sales figures are going to be drastically different going forward. However, with a near Rs. 4 million price tag, the car doesn’t provide value for money in terms of comfort and safety features.
To get the said features in the car, one must opt for a large number of expensive options, which takes the price tag even higher. The automaker claims that the Corolla is Toyota IMC’s flagship car. Be that as it may, Toyota IMC should kick things up a notch if they wish to maintain the glory of their old workhorse.