Ghandhara Nissan Limited (GHNL) is planning to step into the sport utility vehicle (SUV) category soon.

Engineering Development Board (Ministry of Commerce) Manager Policy Asim Ayaz confirmed to The Express Tribune that Ghandhara Nissan was entering into the SUV segment.

The auto company has joined hands with Chery Automobile Company and is expected to launch its first SUV Chery Tiggo 8 in September, revealed Arif Habib Limited auto analyst Arsalan Hanif.

“It is good news for the Pakistani market,” said Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (Paapam) former president Mashood Ali. “It is because of the auto policy that all players are moving towards SUVs,” he added.

Chery Automobile is a Chinese state-owned company established in 1997 and its products are primarily passenger cars, minivans and SUVs. It is one of the largest auto companies in the country.

Hanif added that they had sedans as well named Arrizo and Fulwin, however, the company was known for its SUVs.

“In Pakistan, there is a huge demand for SUVs and they will give a tough time to other players in the SUV category because they are bringing Tiggo 8 in the price range of Rs4 million to Rs4.5 million with latest features,” he said.

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Fiscal year 2020-21 turned out to be robust for the auto sector, when total car sales accelerated 56.7% year-on-year to 151,000 units, according to Insight Research.

The growth was not just limited to cars and tractors, but light commercial vehicle (LCV) and heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) segments also showed robust growth of 57% and 19% respectively.

This was mainly attributable to a low base effect due to Covid-19 and lower auto financing rates.

Auto financing crossed Rs300 billion as of June 2021, up 3.6% month-on-month and 45.9% since June 2020, according to a research report of Arif Habib Limited.

An increase in agricultural income and higher HCV demand, caused by infrastructure spending, also played a key role, according to a report of Insight Research.

During the first 11 months of FY21, large-scale manufacturing (LSM) grew 14.6% on the back of automobile and cement sectors.

Rising economic activity has also increased the demand for LCVs and HCVs as they play a vital role in economic growth, according to Insight Research.

Ghandhara Nissan is the best case to understand the current scenario of rising auto demand and infrastructure development.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2021.

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