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KARACHI: Pak Suzuki Motor Company Limited (PSMCL) has finally decided to discontinue Mehran VX model from end of November due to its thin demand as compared to the hot-selling VXR model.

The company has informed its vendors that it would produce 6,734 units from June to end November. Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers Senior Vice Chairman Mohammad Ashraf Sheikh foresees “no big loss to the vending industry due to production closure of Mehran VX.”

He said “Mehran VXR actually enjoys major share of sale instead of VX, which is evident from the overall production and sales data of Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (Pama) and the tentative production plan of VX Mehran given by Pak Suzuki to its vendors.”

Mehran had replaced Suzuki FX model in 1988 and since then the company only made cosmetic changes in the model rather than completely changing the overall look and model of Mehran. In 2012, Pak Suzuki upgraded all vehicles including Mehran to Euro II technology.

According to Pama, the overall production of Mehran in 1995-1996 stood at 8,966 units which in 2016-2017 reached 38,311 units. In July-May 2017-2018, production hit 43,896 units. Only Mehran had achieved 72 per cent localisation in its 30 years journey as compared to other locally assembled cars making it competitive in terms of price with other locally assembled cars, Ashraf claimed.

PSMCL has requested its vendors to carry out effective material and production management for smooth production of remaining vehicles and to avoid any surplus inventory at either end at the time of model discontinuation. At the same time, the company has asked vendors to continue supplying parts to meet spare parts requirement.

The company in its letter on discontinuation of Mehran VX to the vendors had, however, not mentioned about the fate of existing Mehran VXR model but market was already abuzz with reports that Suzuki Alto 660cc would finally replace it.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2018