Each model from an automaker comes with an expiry date: once close to that date, automakers introduce a completely new car for that model. With an upgrade, everything is improved, from the technology, material, brakes, engine to mileage.
Technology moves unbelievably fast these days, smartphones have shown the difference a decade can make in today’s world and it is remarkable.
Vehicle model expiry varies between models and their regions, but it’s mostly anywhere between five to seven years depending on the performance of the model. For example, the current Suzuki Swift was only kept in production for six years (2005 to 2011 in India, and 2006 to 2012 in Indonesia).
The past model of Cultus, however, took a lot longer to be upgraded in Pakistan.
After remaining in production for 16 years, Pak Suzuki finally called it off in favour of the new Cultus, globally known as the Celerio. With the onslaught of imported cars and customers’ lost interest in the previous Cultus, it was high time Suzuki brought in a good competitor against the Japanese car imports.
The Cultus has seen a lot during the last 17 years, here's a throwback to some of its pivotal highs and lows on the roads:
While the Khyber remained popular, the Cultus was introduced by Pak Suzuki as a new option in Pakistan in the year 2000 with a 3-Cyl. 1,000CC carburetor engine ‘g10A’. The Cultus was launched in three variants - the VX, VXR and VXL - as an economical yet executive car. Around that time, it was one of the few hatchbacks you could buy within a budget, with ample room inside and a sleek outlook.
In 2007, Suzuki introduced the much better, more fuel efficient 4-Cyl, 1000CC EFI engine ‘g10b’.The EFI Cultus was made to abide by the Euro-II emissions standards, as the government showed increasing concern over the country’s deteriorating environment.
Pak Suzuki introduced the Swift in 2010, but then realized that the Cultus VXLi had become a rival to it. Hence, the VXLi variant, which was the only Cultus with power windows and semi-power steering, had to be discontinued.
The last hurrah came as the Cultus ‘Limited Edition’ in 2016: it had a new fabric design inside the car, matching side-mirrors, a fancy audio system… and a new higher price tag.
During early 2017, Suzuki finally announced through a press release that the Cultus is no more; it will be replaced with a new model from this century.
The manual version was launched in the beginning of the year, while an automatic version followed after.
The Cutus is a popular brand in Pakistan, which according to my personal estimates, went about 5 years over its expiry date. At one point, the sales did go low which were enough to warrant a change in the model, but once Suzuki introduced the new Cultus, the sales picked up all over again.
Also read: Pak Suzuki earns Rs1.31bn
During the period from Jul-16 to Jan-17, sales of Cultus remained at 8469 units. Once the new Cultus was introduced, the sales went up to 11986 units during Jul-17 to Jan-18.
A positive note over here is that automakers in Pakistan should invest themselves more in following a model’s lifecycle and introduce cars that are up-to date with the world over.
This content has been produced in paid partnership with Pak Suzuki.