In a report shared by Business Recorder on Friday, it has been revealed that Kia Lucky Motors is gearing up to introduce a couple of new SUVs to the Pakistani Market, based on the recent success of the Kia Sportage in the country.
Although no official figures have been revealed, the reports suggest that Kia has been selling quite a few units over the past few months, at an average of about 1200 vehicles per month, most of whom are the Kia Sportage SUVs.
Furthermore, it has been reported that the company had been facing lag in terms of the delivery time of the vehicles due to the overwhelming demand, following which, the company has also decided to move to a double-shift production schedule to meet the exceeding demand.
Reportedly, the ‘per day’ production capacity of Kia Lucky is 60 to 65 vehicles per day, which almost similar to that of the Toyota Indus Motor Company, whose daily production capacity is around 76 cars per day. However, the company is planning to ramp up those figures, with a goal of developing a production capacity of 20,000 to 25,000 vehicles per year within the next year and a half.
The Sportage seems to be doing particularly well, owing to the fact that it is now priced near two of the top sedans in the Pakistan market, i.e. the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic, both of whom have been priced around or over Rs. 4 million.
Plus, the Sportage offers a better value for money, with some of the additional features such as an all-wheel-drive (AWD) drivetrain, a modern interior with an 8″ LCD touch-screen based smart infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity, a panoramic sunroof, automatic climate control with rear vents, among other features that are not offered in the Corolla and the Civic.
With the compact SUV market covered and the growing demand for SUVs in general, rumor has it that Kia is gearing up to introduce a couple of more new SUVs to their lineup.
The likeliest of the rumored new arrivals to come to Pakistan is the Sorento, which is Kia’s mid-size SUV with a seating capacity for 7 passengers. The SUV shares its Y-platform with the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Kia Sedona/Carnival, and reportedly, both SUVs have been fairly successful in the markets that they’ve been introduced to.
The Sorento comes with various engine options in various markets. The most commonly found engines include a base engine is a 2.2 liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder diesel engine that makes 185 horsepower at 4000 RPM, 2.4 liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engine that makes 172 horsepower at 6000 RPM, a 2.2 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine that makes 200 horsepower at 3800 RPM and a 3.5 liter naturally aspirated V6 petrol engine that makes 280 horsepower at 6300 RPM. All engines can be mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The SUV is offered in other markets in a Front-Wheel-Drive and an All-Wheel-Drive form.
Furthermore, the Sorento is well equipped with interior amenities such as steering wheel controls, cell phone connectivity, dual-zone climate control, 7″ or 8″ infotainment with android auto/Apple CarPlay integration, cruise control, rain sensor, power-folding side-view mirrors, Nappa leather trim & seating surfaces, Panoramic sunroof and various driver aids such as Forward collision warning, Blind spot detection, ABS, downhill assists, hill start assist, Vehicle Stability Control among others.
The SUV is likely to be released to compete with the Toyota Fortuner or Prado, which implies that, if it arrives in Pakistan, it will be priced from Rs. 7.5 million to Rs. 9.3 million.
In other reports, Kia Lucky is also planning to launch a subcompact crossover SUV in the market to rival the likes of Honda Vezel, BAIC X25, Suzuki Vitara, Toyota Corolla Cross and other subcompact crossovers in the market.
However, it’s being speculated that the price of the vehicle shall be set somewhere around a low to mid Rs. 3 million mark. From the sounds of it, the said SUV is likely to be the Kia Niro, a subcompact Hybrid crossover SUV which was also displayed at the PAPS 2020 Autoshow.
Kia has indeed been one of the most phenomenally successful new-comers in the market, having expanded at a rapid pace within a couple of years of their arrival. Plus, with the success of the Kia Sportage, the company is looking to capitalize on the gradual paradigm shift, which is a promising sign of progress for the Pakistani auto industry on the whole.