KARACHI: A new entrant into Pakistan's auto sector, South Korean carmaker Kia, has launched two new vehicles - Grand Carnival 11-seater family passenger car and a one-tonne pickup - in the form of completely built units.
The cost of the Grand Carnival starts from Rs3.9 million, while price tag for the one-tonne pick-up stands at Rs1.9 million.
After signing an agreement with the Ministry of Industries and Production last year for the production of light commercial and passenger vehicles, the company has now opened its first dealership in Karachi with plans to open more across the country.
Kia Motors is launching its vehicles through a joint venture with Lucky Cement. It has partnered with Yunus Brother Group to form Kia-Lucky Motors.
Speaking on the occasion, Kia-Lucky Motors CEO said: "We are very pleased at the opening of the first Kia dealership with the launch of Grand Carnival, which is a multi-purpose passenger vehicle for families. In a short time, more Kia dealerships will be opening up across Pakistan."
The changing landscape and face of Pakistan’s auto sector
He revealed that the company was also building assembly plants and working on transfer of technology and vendor base expansion that would generate enormous job opportunities and investment, thus creating a healthy competition in Pakistan market.
Grand Carnival comes with a four-year or 100,000km warranty. The car has a 3.3-litre engine mated to a six-speed auto transmission.
Apart from Kia, South Korean companies Hyundai and SsangYong Motor, Germany's Volkswagen, France's Renault and Japan's Nissan have also announced plans and formed partnerships to enter Pakistan's auto market, most probably in the next one year.
Local importers like United Motors and Sazgar, the manufacturers of two-wheel and three-wheel vehicles, have also made plans to enter the country's lucrative four-wheel industry.
The government's Auto Industry Development Policy 2016-21 has been credited with paving the way for new entrants and subsequently breaking the monopoly of three Japanese manufacturers in Pakistan's auto market.