Great Britain two weeks ago. Albania last week, enough of Europe. Pakistan has been in the center of world news for a little while now, so it is time to explore what are the best selling cars in that country.
Now if you don’t want to hear one more word about the (spoiler alert!) Toyota Corolla and would like to know about the best selling models in 154 other countries, you’ve come to the right place: you can explore these countries in my blog. Very enjoyable! Yes, I promise!
The Pakistan Automobile Manufacturers Association has been compiling sales of models produced locally since 1998. Not that long ago, I grant you, but it’s better than nothing! And given the tough restrictions imposed on all imported car, really, the locally produced models are the only ones that count so we’ll be staying pretty close to the truth…
If I only had 30 seconds to summarize the Pakistani car market structure it would still be ok because I’d only have to say Toyota Corolla and Suzuki Mehran…
But I have a bit more time so I can dwell on the details. Since 1998, only these two models have managed to top the monthly sales ranking in the country. Now if you were thinking that all this time Suzuki had been hiding away in Pakistan manufacturing a great car that no one knew about, you’re in for a bad surprise.
The Mehran is not exactly a maiden in the car scene. It is in fact a second generation 1984 Suzuki Alto, also known as Maruti 800 in India… Hardly a newcomer you might say. Well the Mehran is the longest-running leader of the Pakistani car market, being the best selling car in the country in 1998 and from 2001 to 2008.
Indeed in 2010, nearly 1 in every 3 new cars sold in the country was a Toyota Corolla! It totaled 44,098 sales over the year for a 29.7percent market share of the locally produced cars.
Faithful to Pakistani heights, the 26 year-old Suzuki Mehran followed at #2, still holding very well for its age at 23,117 sales and a 15.6 percent share.
In 3rd place is a … Suzuki, the ultramodern (not) pick-up Suzuki Ravi, grabbing nearly 10 percent of the Pakistani market.
In 5th place comes a … ok, so what is it with Suzuki doing so well in the region? Not satisfied with holding over 50 percent of the Indian market through the joint-venture Maruti-Suzuki, the Japanese manufacturer is also ultra-dominant in Pakistan, which I would guess not many of you knew (when was the last time you travelled the streets of Islamabad, anyone?)… In fact India and Pakistan are Suzuki’s world top two markets in terms of overall manufacturer rankings, the only two countries where Suzuki is number 1.
So I was saying, another Suzuki, the Cultus, none other than a second generation 1988 Suzuki Swift, (and what is it with using different names for the same cars to confuse everyone? – actually the Cultus was one of the original worldwide names for the Swift Wikipedia tells me), ranked 5th with 12,519 units changing hands for a 8.4 percent market share.
So in fact, it’s like the Pakistani Suzuki factory is stuck in 1989. Nice. No new best sellers in 22 years but still number one. A marketer’s dream (or is it?)…
Pakistan Full Year 2010 Top 10 (locally produced models):
But that was 2010.
2011 has started slightly differently in Pakistan. Don’t get me wrong, there’s no toppling of decades-long favorites, with the Toyota Corolla still dominating but at lower levels: it took 21.6 percent of the market in March, and 27.7 percents over the first 3 months of the year…
… and the 27 year-old Suzuki Mehran getting better with age and holding and improved 16.9 percent of the market in March and 17.1 percent over the first 3 months of 2011…
The big change is in 3rd place: in March, a fifth Suzuki, the Alto, is up 3 spots compared to 2010 to climb onto the podium with a very strong 12.5 percent share. The Alto sold today in Pakistan is the only model in the Suzuki range born after Justin Bieber so you can understand why consumers would go crazy…
Pakistan March 2011 Top 10 (locally produced models):
And my friends, this is all from me for today!
All data was provided by PAMA, the Pakistan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.