Hyundai Nishat to roll out two vehicle models at weekend

Will introduce SUV Santa Fe, light commercial vehicle Grand Starex

Shahram Haq February 22, 2019
The logo of Hyundai Motor is seen on a steering wheel. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: In a positive development for the auto sector, Hyundai Nishat Motors has decided to roll out two vehicle variants on Saturday, which will be the first two vehicles of the Hyundai-Nishat joint venture to enter Pakistan’s market.

The company intends to start with the sale of fully equipped sports utility vehicle (SUV) - Santa Fe. Globally, the variant is available in seven different models but, according to officials, the number of models the company plans to introduce in Pakistan is not yet clear.

The second variant to be introduced is the Grand Starex - a 12-seat light commercial vehicle for commuters.

The company is going to unveil the two models in Lahore on Saturday along with Pakistan’s first digital store, an innovative automotive retail concept, which uses immersive 3D technology to enhance customer buying experiences.

Management of Hyundai Nishat Motors did not comment on these developments.

Hyundai, which is setting up an auto manufacturing plant in Faisalabad over 66 acres of land, has partnered with local conglomerate Nishat Group to venture into Pakistan’s growing but Japanese-dominated auto market. Since the beginning of this venture in 2017, the management has been keen to introduce an SUV as its high-end product.

The company has carried out market surveys to gauge the popular engine category, but it was hesitant to begin with 800cc cars due to low profit margins. Hyundai is also expected to launch hybrid electric cars in Pakistan soon, even if it has to import these vehicles initially due to lack of infrastructure in the country.

Previously, Dewan Farooque Motors was the manufacturer and distributor of Hyundai cars in Pakistan in 2000. Its two models - Santro and light commercial vehicle Shehzore - gained immense popularity, but Hyundai wrapped up its business in Pakistan in 2008.

Under the new Automotive Policy 2016-21, Hyundai once again took the opportunity to capitalise on the growing demand for commercial and non-commercial vehicles in Pakistan, this time with the Nishat Group.

Prices of the two variants may be market competitive as higher prices will hurt their sales.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2019.

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Khan | 2 years ago | Reply What market are they targeting? A crossover SUV and a van? They should introduce Hyundai i10 / i20 / Accent to compete against the market leaders!
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