News Guides Comparisons Specs & Price

Cars That Flopped in Pakistan Despite High Expectations

The Pakistani car market has seen a monumental rise in new cars and automakers in the past two to three years. Although not as much of a hotshot today, Kia Lucky Motors Corporation’s (KLMC) success in particular opened doors for several new carmakers in Pakistan.

Over the years, several carmakers have attempted to grab a dominant share of the market but failed to do so due to various reasons, while others have completely vanished despite being strong contenders on paper.

This article will discuss vehicles that flopped in Pakistan contrary to expectations:

Suzuki Ciaz

Pak Suzuki Motor Company’s (PSMC) reluctance to offer Ciaz in Pakistan as a CKD was a big mistake that led to the car’s eventual discontinuation.

It had all the elements of a promising car, had it been offered as a locally assembled and competitively priced car with a familiar and beloved nameplate such as ‘Margalla’ or ‘Baleno’.

Ciaz debuted in Pakistan in 2017. It had a short run due to not keeping up with the fierce competition in the compact and subcompact sedan segments.

It had a 1.4 liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine that made 91 hp and 130 Nm of torque, sending it to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic gearbox.

Auto enthusiasts and analysts reckoned that Suzuki Ciaz was unable to become a fierce competitor in the sedan market like its predecessors because of its high price. PSMC had introduced Ciaz at a starting price of Rs. 1.7 million, while the automatic variant cost Rs. 1.84 million.

This made the car more expensive than all variants of Honda City as well as Toyota Corolla XLI and GLI variants at the time.

Besides being expensive, Ciaz was incredibly basic. People paid big money to buy a car that only had the advantage of two airbags over the competition, which was a major letdown.

FAW V2

Pakistan is a fantastic market for compact hatchbacks as a number of young professionals opt for affordability when choosing their first vehicles.

FAW V2 was a wonderful addition to the market, which, like the other vehicles in this list, could not grab as big of a market share as speculated.

V2 was launched in Pakistan in 2014 as a cheaper alternative to the Suzuki Swift. It had a 1.3-liter Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine with variable cam timing (VCT) technology that sent 90 hp, 120 Nm of torque to the front wheel via a 5-speed manual gearbox.

Despite being a 13oocc, relatively comfortable (albeit basic) hatchback, FAW V2 was the cheapest car in its category.

The price of a brand-new V2 was around Rs. 1.6 million which was cheaper than several new vehicles. Despite that, V2 was unable to sell as many units as a decade-old Swift, Cultus, and Picanto.

United Bravo

United Bravo showed great promise when it debuted as a rival to the 30-year-old Suzuki Mehran. It is still offered in the market as a CKD and a competitor to Prince Pearl and Suzuki Alto.

Bravo has an 800cc naturally aspirated 3-cylinder petrol engine that makes 40 hp and 60 Nm of torque, mated to a 4-speed manual transmission.

So far, United has only sold a small number of units compared to its competitors. The reasons for its poor demand include poor resale value, weak aftersales services, and customer support, a lack of parts, and reliability issues.

Despite being targeted towards the biggest car segment of Pakistan by sales volume, United Bravo has fallen short, which spells trouble for its future in Pakistan, given the current economic troubles.

United Alpha
Credits: Pakwheels.com

Like its smaller sibling, United Alpha has also failed to maintain a foothold in the market unlike its competitors, namely, Kia Picanto and Suzuki Cultus.

Alpha debuted in Pakistan in 2021. It has a 1.0 liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder petrol engine that produced 68 hp, 93 Nm of torque, and came with a 4-speed manual gearbox.

Despite being one of the cheaper vehicles, Alpha failed to gain traction, mostly because it is an almost two-decade-old rebadged Chery QQ.

United Alpha, despite being one of the cheapest city hatchbacks in Pakistan with a price tag of just over Rs. 1.7 million, struggled to maintain a foothold in the market.

Zotye Z100

You probably don’t know that this car even exists in Pakistan. The little hatchback hails from the same category as Suzuki Cultus, Kia Picanto, and United Alpha.

The car had a naturally aspirated 1.0-liter three-cylinder petrol engine that made 68 hp and 90 Nm of torque and was mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox.

Despite a seemingly appropriate number of creature comforts and decent performance and a fair price, Zotye Z100 also fell prey to the lack of brand awareness, poor resale, and concerns regarding the car’s reliability and maintenance cost.

The car has been discontinued in Pakistan, however, from what is known, it was priced a hair under Rs. 1.5 million. Due to its minuscule sales figures, Zotye Z100 is virtually non-existent, even in the second-hand market.

Honorable Mentions

The following cars also had a strong showing early on but lost their appeal over time and vanished from the market.

  • Nissan Sunny
  • Mitsubishi Lancer
  • Chevrolet Optra
  • Kia Spectra
  • Fiat Uno
  • Adam Revo

Verdict

Most cars in this list are (or were) budget hatchbacks that should have been successful for all intents and purposes. However, poor marketing, after-sales services, build quality issues, and resale value bound these cars to a dark fate from the start.

The appetite for good quality and affordable cars is still high in Pakistan. However, the current economic turmoil paints a bleak image of Pakistan’s car industry.


  • Availability of parts is most important aspect.. most of chinese cars, dont have the availability of parts.. even available parts are very expensive for famous brands such as MG or Changan..

  • it’s only problem in Pakistan that people think about resale even before buying. and it’s the country where most people don’t consider selling till next 10 years. lol. I had and having pretty good experience with faw v2, I have choice in 2018 with my budget to go for basic varient of wagonr Suzuki or faw VW. I went for faw v2 thinking that what I use today for next few years is more important, the comfort the drive, than few thousands of rupees my might get extra selling a wagonr. 2 air bags, powerful engine, abs end breaks much much thick body sheet, power steering and power windows, side mirror indicators, fair enough audio system compared to wagonr. alloy rims. I bought this for wife’s use and my company gave me new cultus at same time. though cultus drives a bit smoother however, every time I drove my Cultus after faw it felt way under power. now I driving changan 1.5 and even the pick of faw is ahead of changan probably because manual and automatic… we will only get diversity in auto industry and break the big three mafia, if we get out of this resale thinking. stop ruining everyday of you next 5 to 10 years for one day pleasure of selling your vehicle in good rate. you can drive a better car for next 5 years for the same price of a basic car big three would offer.

    • 💯 percent agreed. I bought a 1.6 Lansar at same price as was for corolla in Nov 206. The Dewan motors disappeared after few years. But I’m still enjoying the ride even after 16 years. Now what pleasure I can enjoy by selling it a bit easier ? The car has given me immense satisfaction of my decision. But public in general is not agreed even my close circle always argue “Bhai market ki cheez leini chahiyay thi”

  • I think one should buy a car what he thinks better keeping his budget in view
    It all about money to buy all other aspects are just eyewash

  • I owned FAW V2 for four years. Only reason I sold it was I heard about the potential discontinuation which later on came true. I still believe its drive and road grip was better than any other car in its category.


  • close
    >