Proton increases price of its Saga sedan
Malaysian company Proton has increased the price of its sedan Saga by up to Rs224,000.
Other car companies Toyota, Suzuki, Honda, Kia, Hyundai, United Motors and Changan have already increased car prices following the raw material prices increased in the international market.
The highest change as the car companies increased car prices in the country was seen in the prices of Changan Alsvin and Karvaan, which were raised by 19%.
The company said that the new prices have taken effect from November 26. The new rates will also apply to customers who booked their cars before November 26 but made partial payments.
The Proton Saga has three variants – standard manual, standard automatic and premium automatic. It is dubbed as the lowest priced sedan in Pakistan.
The price of Saga basic manual transmission model, Saga basic automatic transmission model and the top-of-the-chain Saga Ace automatic transmission model with added features have gone up by Rs224,000. These variants will now be selling for Rs2.14 million, Rs2.3 million and Rs2.4 million, respectively.
The company hasn’t increased the prices its Proton X70 SUV yet. However, dealers expected that SUV prices would increase by Rs350,000 to Rs400,000 in December.
The SUV has two variants namely Proton X70 Executive and Proton X70 Premium. These variants are available at Rs4.6 million and Rs4.9 million.
Why did Proton car prices increase?
Proton dealers say when the dollar becomes expensive, the company increases prices because they import almost all of the parts from Malaysia and assemble units in Pakistan.
A Proton dealer said that the cost per container rose $6,000 to $8,000, putting pressure on the imports bill. “During Covid, the car companies made a large number of orders out of the fear of lockdown and containers were blocked in different countries when the lockdown was imposed in those countries, causing a container shortage in China, Malaysia and other exporting countries,” he added.
“The company imports almost all of the parts from Malaysia and assembles units in Pakistan and the costs of other raw materials such as steel and aluminum have increased in the international market. Apart from that, the dollar has touched an all-time high of Rs178.30,” a dealer added.
Orders being cancelled
Some car dealers said that the sales of the company may go down by 40% due to the hike in car prices. Whereas, others say that the sales of the cars will not be affected.
“The price hike may temporarily impact the sales and sales will go up in January,” a dealer said.
In October 2021, automobile sales increased by 49% to 21,486 units as compared to 14,082 units sold in the same month of the previous year.
A car dealer said that since the new rates apply to all bookings made before November 26, the customers are canceling the orders due to an increase in the car prices and the delay in car deliveries. “Almost all the authorized car dealers are experiencing order cancellations after the carmakers hiked up the prices,” he added.
Association of Pakistan Motorcycle Assemblers (APMA) Chairperson Muhammad Sabir Shaikh said that people used to import 60,000 units of completely built units (CBU) used cars every year. After the government tightened the conditions on importing used cars from Japan, only 12,000 units of used cars are imported annually.
“The carmakers in Pakistan are taking advantage of a ban on imported used cars and deliberately making cars expensive to earn profits,” he added.
A Proton dealer said that the own money on Sedan Saga is up to Rs300,000, which is expected to go down as a result of the price hike. On the other hand, Sabir Shaikh said that own-money on cars is not expected to go down unless the government eases restrictions on the import of used cars.
Own-money on cars is an additional amount paid to the dealerships for immediate delivery of cars.