KARACHI: Indus Motor Company (IMC) will import completely built units (CBU) of Toyota Rush from next month as it aims to capture the price segment between its Corolla and Fortuner vehicles amid increasing competition from green- and brown-field beneficiaries.
Toyota dealers in Karachi confirmed that the company will launch the model next month. They expect the price to be between Rs3.8 million and Rs4.8 million.
Mohammad Aziz, a dealer of used imported cars, said Toyota previously tested the market with the Hybrid Prius but the experiment failed.
"The new imported Prius was priced at Rs4.5 million while a couple of years old imported Prius was selling at half the price in the market. One could have literally bought two cars in the price of a new Prius," he said.
Another dealer, Syed Anjum, also reiterated that if a person can buy an imported 2013 Rush model for Rs2.4 million then there was no reason to buy a car twice as expensive.
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However, he added that the market reaction would only be known once the car is officially launched next month.
Research analyst Farheen Irfan believes that the company has taken the initiative in order to maintain its market share when several new OEMs like Kia, Hyundai and Changan have prepared to tap Pakistan's auto industry.
"Moreover, there's a big gap between Toyota's main brands. The company could have also thought to increase its presence at a segment in between them to cater to a larger market amid increasing competition," she said.
However, she believes that under the present macroeconomic variables, no existing auto manufacturing company would think of starting another assembly plant in the country.
"This cannot be considered as a precursor that Toyota might establish an assembly plant for Rush in the future even if this experiment of selling CBUs is successful."
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