An opulent luxury vehicle, supplemented with powerful engine and coupled with classic features and safety measures is everyone’s desire. All big shots like Toyota, Honda, Suzuki, Daihatsu, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, others are in a race to fulfill these aspirations. With a concentrated market symmetry, it tends to suppress competition, and the market is somewhat characterized by an oligopolistic environment. It is a capital-intensive industry, making the barriers to entry very high. The market can be categorized through price segments, features, categories, vehicle types, usage situations, and user situations. Industry operations are mainly dominated through franchise models and technical collaborations with Japan, Europe, Korea and China. Overall Japanese car manufacturers control most of the car manufacturing and sales.

Suzuki Mehran

Pak-Suzuki was instituted in September 1982 as a joint endeavor amid the Pakistani Govt. and Suzuki Japan, solemnizing the plan by which Awami Auto Ltd. had manufactured the Suzuki SS80 from 1982. Suzuki initiallypossessed 25% of the stock, and have steadilyaugmented their shares; they now own approx. 73.09%. Pak-Suzuki was a joint undertaking with Pakistan Automobile Corporation (PACO). With the absence of serious competition, Suzuki easily edged the market with more than 50% share since its commencement of operations. Carry and Jimmy were assembled in 1976, but the first locally manufactured car was 800 cc ST90 Carry van.

Suzuki Mehran is the base line model and is an entry level car that mainly attracts the Pakistani audience due to their rigid income levels and affordability. Suzuki Mehran was renamed as “Mehran”, in 1992. And till that they added only cosmetic changes to the original model. Suzuki Mehran is an internationally superannuated car produced and sold by Pak Suzuki, a subsidiary of Suzuki in Pakistan. It was a relaunched second-generation Suzuki Alto CA/CC71 which was vended in the Japanese and European market from 1984 to 1988. Pakistan is the only country where Suzuki Mehran is still in manufacturing and yes, it is still the most selling car in Pakistan. Its price ranges from Rs. 65,000 to Rs. 750,000, which is a more than enough for a car with only the essentials and least safety features.

Till its manufacturing, the main changes include the passenger AC vent, tail lights and headlights and other minor changes. However, in 2013 models, EURO 2 engines were added to mitigate the necessities of Pakistan’s lagging emission standards. The suspension system is based on a low cost obsolete earlier leaf sprung rigid axle instead of shock absorbers.

Exterior

Suzuki Mehran 2016 features a horizontal carton over wheels like design. On the front, there are trapezium fashioned headlights with a multiple opening rectangular shaped grille. The bumper is same as previous models. The grille on the front features the Suzuki logo giving a somewhat premium view to the overall design of the car.

The rear end of car houses slightly angular squared shaped taillights, a standard hatchback along with a standard black bumper. On the higher end VXR variants, the Mehran comes equipped with color matched bumpers and full wheel covers. The overall exterior of the Suzuki Mehran 2016 features a restrained and minimalistic design language that is typical for a car designed in the eighties.

Interior

The Suzuki Mehran 2016 interior comprises the use of grey tone plastic trim pieces. The interior is very minimalistic as many aspects of the car are left exposed and everything including the windows and the seat adjustment controls is operated manually. The car lacks basic features such as Central locking, Steering Adjustment and Rear seat belts. The front and rear seats are both wrapped in vinyl. Standard features on the car include a heater while the higher end VXR variant features air conditioning and fabric seats. The overall interior of the Suzuki Mehran 2016 features a lack of interior space in both the front and rear for a hatchback of its exterior dimensions, it also offers a lack of comfort and interior refinement.

Engine

0.8 Liter OHC 6 Valve Inline-3

Gearbox

4 Speed Manual Transmission

Mileage

The Suzuki Mehran 2016 gives an average mileage of 12 KM/L in city making for an estimated range of 360 KM from its 30-litre fuel tank and 14KM/L on the highway making for an estimated range of 420 KM on a highway.

Main Competitors

The main competitors of the Suzuki Mehran 2016 are the Hyundai Santro, Suzuki Alto, Daihatsu Charade, Nissan Otti, and Daihatsu Mira and other imported brands.

Specifications

0.8 Liter OHC 6 Valve Inline-3

40bhp @5500RPM, 59 NM of torque @3000RPM

Though the car lacks basic security enhancements and other standard features but it is still in high demand. Though it’s not fully official yet but according to some unofficial sources, Mehran is discontinuing, and Suzuki Alto 660 cc is going to replace the baseline model, also Pak-Suzuki intends to start local production of Suzuki Alto 660 cc by 2018. Until that or even may be after that Suzuki Mehran is a darling brand for Pakistani consumer. Considering other factors like, after sales, affordability, and availability of spare parts, I think Alto will need a long time to be in place of Mehran.