LAHORE: Honda Atlas launched its first locally produced sub-compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) on Friday, comprising 45% local components, stated the company.
The Bold Runabout Vehicle (BR-V) – which seats seven people – costs about Rs2.23 million and Rs2.33 million for its i-VTEC and i-VTEC S variants, respectively. It features a 1.5-litre engine.
According to the company, the low price is courtesy local components used in the manufacturing. Additionally, through this price, Honda is looking to boost its sales by attracting existing as well as new customers who are willing to enter the SUV family.
“SUVs in Pakistan are too costly and are mostly out of range for many customers,” said Honda Atlas Cars Pakistan Limited General Manager Sales and Marketing Nadeem Azam. “With the price range we are offering, about 90% of customers can now afford the new variants, which will attract new as well as existing customers of other companies too.”
The company is also looking to tap rural as well as urban markets with the newly-launched SUV. “We are confident that BR-V will strongly appeal to the urban and rural customers and accelerate our growth while strengthening our brand presence in the country,” said Honda Atlas Cars Pakistan Limited President and CEO Toichi Ishiyama. “Pakistan is a key market for Honda and as part of our business expansion; we are focusing on increasing our customer base and will be bringing a lot of new and innovative products in the future.”
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Azam ruled out the induction of hybrid technology in locally manufactured Honda variants, stating that the company is currently not at the stage to introduce hybrid engines for Pakistan.
“Technologically, we are as advanced as we would like to be where we can produce hybrid engines for the Pakistani market,” Azam told The Express Tribune. “Currently, there are some imported and used hybrid vehicles available in the market, but they are not that much successful.”
The general manager added that the company would never introduce any locally-produced variant which might trouble customers afterwards.
The company’s share price increased Rs28.77 or 3.5% on Friday, closing at Rs859.77 during a bullish run at the Pakistan Stock Exchange that saw the index increase 1.98% as well.