KARACHI: Korean auto assemblers in Pakistan appear hesitant to pass on the benefits of the rupee’s appreciation against the dollar, claiming that their price hikes were already lower than the ones delivered by Japanese automakers.

The assembler of Kia vehicles in Pakistan informed customers the company had raised the price by only 14 per cent in July, as compared to the 19-23pc jump made by three leading Japanese assemblers amid rupee’s depreciation against the dollar.

However, after a more than 11pc recovery in the rupee against the dollar since July, the three major players reduced prices by 6pc to 9pc earlier this week. The overall industry players’ price hike is still 15pc higher compared to the 14pc raise in Kia vehicles, the Korean assembler claimed.

Kia said the main industry players had corrected the prices to bring the increase to parity with its vehicles. The company further said that it had created a precedent by setting a benchmark for other assemblers in terms of price setting.

Speaking to Dawn, dealers of other Korean auto assemblers said there were no indications of any price cuts so far. “Chances of a price cut appear quite bleak as our prices are already lower than Japanese assemblers who have slashed prices,” they added.

A car assembler said pressure was building up on the Korean assemblers to pass on the relief of the rupee hike to the buyers.

So far, the price cut by the Japanese assemblers has not been on a par with the massive rate hikes witnessed earlier in one go.

Pak Suzuki increased the prices by Rs314,000-661,000 but slashed prices by Rs75,000-199,000. Indus Motor Company (IMC) raised the prices by Rs760,000 to Rs3.16 million but has now announced reduced them by Rs260,000 to Rs1.14m. Honda Atlas Cars Limited made a price jump of Rs785,000 to Rs1.45m but a price relief of Rs280,000-550,000 was given to buyers.

Meanwhile, some Chinese assemblers have come out with price reduction from Aug 19. For example, the assembler of DSFK vehicles had decreased the prices by Rs80,000-495,000. Glory 580 Pro, 1.5CVT, and 1.8 CVT now cost Rs6.1m, Rs5.61m, and Rs5.806m, respectively, compared to Rs6.55m, Rs6.105m, and Rs6.256m previously.

The new KO7 Humsafar and Pearl MT rates are Rs2.469m and Rs1.749m, respectively, versus Rs2.549m and Rs1.920m. Master Changan Motors had reduced the prices by Rs50,000-400,000 after raising the prices by Rs400,000 to Rs1.139m.

Oshan X7 Comfort and FutureSense are now priced at Rs7.049m and Rs7.549m, while Alsvin Comfort MT, DCT and Lumiere models carry new rates of Rs3.394m, Rs3.649m and Rs3.844m. The new price tags for the Karavan MPV, Plus MPV, and Sherpa M9 are Rs2.419m, Rs2.569m, and Rs2.134m.

Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2022

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