KARACHI: After a record price cut of Rs1.513 million in the last week of April, Lucky Motor Corporation Ltd (LMCL) jacked up the price of Kia Stonic by Rs733,000 on Monday.

The company slashed the Stonic price to Rs4.767m from Rs6.280m, which changed the vehicle’s sales fortune. Due to its high prices and intense market competition, the vehicle had been facing sluggish demand. Currently, the vehicle price has been revised to Rs5.5m.

LMCL said it had received an overwhelming response on the five-year celebration limited-time offer on Stonic EX plus. However, due to more-than-expected demand, the company had no option but to temporarily suspend the booking for clarity on the stock situation.

The company on Monday also reopened the booking of the above vehicle for delivery in December and onwards. Booking will only be accepted with partial payment of Rs2.5m.

There will be a price lock for orders booked with partial payment for December and January 2025 delivery. This price lock is subject to any rupee devaluation against the dollar (2pc over today’s prevailing spot rates) and/or any increase in duties, taxes and levies imposed in the federal and provincial budgets FY25 applicable at the time of delivery of the vehicle, will be borne by the customer, before delivery of the vehicle.

At the time of Stonic price cut on April 29, the company must have accumulated billions of rupees in just a few days after making bulk bookings from cash-rich investors, consumers and dealers of Kia. The company had to close down the booking on May 3 till September to manage demand and supply gap and ensure delivery of vehicles to the customers.

All Pakistan Motor Dealers Association chairman H.M. Shahzad claimed that LMCL’s price drop had not benefited the customers. Instead, investors and authorised dealers had made a bulk of bookings and were making a quick buck of Rs800,000 as premium or on-money.

As the LMCL does not release production and sales data, it could not be immediately known how many Stonic units were booked after a steep price drop from April 29 to May 3. However, sources said if the assembler had 600 vehicles on full payment, it would have received Rs2.8bn. Even the partial booking of Stonic at Rs2.35m had brought in Rs1.4bn.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2024

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