The auto industry in Pakistan has been on a decline for the past two years. First, a sudden hike in US Dollar against Pakistani Rupee shoot up prices of both locally assembled and imported vehicles followed by multiple manufacturing plants being shut down for weeks owing to low sales.
The big three motor manufacturing companies i.e. Toyota, Honda, and Suzuki have a majority market share posing a tough competition to new entrants.
In such situations, Indus Motor Company Limited or simply Toyota Indus announced last year the launch of the much anticipated Toyota Yaris 2020 in Pakistan. Toyota Yaris has been around in the global market since 1999, initially as a hatchback and later as a sedan. However, this is the first time the car has been introduced in Pakistan. This car will replace the existing Toyota Corolla 1.3 XLi and GLi, both very successful locally assembled variants in Pakistan.
The pricing starts from as low as PKR 2.4 million and goes up to PKR 2.9 million. Toyota Yaris comes in a total of six variants with a selection of either 1300cc or 1500cc engines.
The fact that the big three auto giants offer low quality locally assembled vehicles at a higher price has been a long debate in Pakistan. Toyota Yaris is no exception either.
Famous Pakistani auto blog PakWheels published a comparison of Toyota Yaris 2020 Pakistani vs Indian model and it has already sent fans into a meltdown. The comparison shows the major differences in the top Toyota Yaris variants i.e. ATIV X CVT (Pakistan) and VX CVT (India).
Within the first 24 hours, the post received just under three thousand shares, thousands of angry reacts and over two thousand comments of fans showing their anger.
Although, both Pakistani and Indian versions of Toyota Yaris 2020 seem to have more or less the same price when the currency exchange rate is applied but there is clearly a huge difference in the overall features.
To start with, the Pakistani version of Toyota Yaris offers 2 airbags while the Indian version offers 7! That’s a total of 5 airbags of additional safety.
Similarly, features like cruise control, paddle shifter, tyre pressure monitoring system, parking sensor, leather seats, and AC vents are all missing in the Pakistani version of Toyota Yaris but are available in a similar Indian version.
The shortcomings of Pakistani versions of numerous international models of sedans and hatchbacks in new in Pakistan. Owing to the fact that Pakistan does not have the economic capacity to fulfill the demands of the fragile market, automakers tend to choose a middle way which seems lesser risky on the manufacturer’s part.
However, all three big motor makers including Honda, Toyota, and Suzuki have been around for decades but they have yet to make an impression on an audience who has been offered low-end variants with a higher price time after time.