Indus Motor Company (IMC), the assemblers of Toyota-brand vehicles, plans to launch its crossover SUV Corolla Cross in Pakistan in 2023 as per the schedule, and it seems like the economic crisis of Pakistan would not affect the decision. Despite estimates that car sales will see a decline of 50% sales in the fiscal year 2022-23. The expected price of the Toyota Corolla Cross would be around Rs.13-14M, the price could go much higher at the time of launch due to dollar inflation.
Indus Motor Company, CEO Ali Asghar Jamali said at an event last week that “sales can drop to as low as 160,000 cars in the fiscal year 2023 if suspension on import of completely knocked down (CKD) units persists”.
Indus Motor launch Corolla, However, even if the restrictions are lifted, Jamali did not see car sales crossing 200,000 cars in the ongoing fiscal year. According to him, the demand for cars has reduced significantly for several reasons including restrictions on financing, inflation, and a hike in prices. “Despite these challenges, the company will launch Corolla Cross as per plan next year,” he said. Automobile sales plunged 50% in the first quarter (July-September) of the fiscal year 2022-23 to 28,571 units against 57,539 sold during the same period last year. The company pledged to invest $100 million in the local production of hybrids last year.
When asked about the high prices of cars, Indus Motor launch Corolla, the CEO said that the auto industry has implemented a high level of localization, however, the problem exists with the allied industry.
Pakistan should develop a national industrial policy for a period of 20 years to attract investors to set up steel and plastic industries. Steel and plastic resins are currently being imported that drive the car prices higher.”
Automobile sector expert Usman Ansari told Business Recorder that Corolla Cross is successful in many countries but its success in Pakistan will depend on its launch price. The three CBU variants of Corolla Cross, all with an engine capacity of 1798cc, are currently selling in Pakistan in the range of Rs12.2 million and Rs13.4 million. However, the company has now suspended bookings due to import restrictions imposed by the government.
The Toyota Corolla Cross features inherited compact car’s forgettable driving character and decent performance. It’s styling, though hardly memorable, at least skews toward the cute end of the spectrum, and the sportier trims add a little visual zest to the Corolla Cross’s curb appeal. The base engine is an anemic 169-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder but an optional hybrid system adds three electric motors to boost the combined output to 194 ponies.
All nonhybrid Corolla Cross models will come with a 169-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission; front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available as an option. During that first test, we complained that acceleration was lazy and that the engine sounded buzzy, particularly at high revs. At our test track, our all-wheel-drive test vehicle delivered a 9.2-second 60-mph time. Sloths move more quickly. The hybrid powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and three electric motors; all-wheel drive is standard on the hybrid and the powertrain makes a combined 194 horsepower. We haven’t test-driven the hybrid model yet but we’re hoping it delivers both more refinement and quicker acceleration. The Corolla Cross’s ride is agreeable enough though, so buyers seeking comfort will be satisfied either way.
Drivers familiar with the Corolla sedan will find themselves at home inside the Corolla Cross. The dashboard layout, interior materials, and convenience features are nearly identical to the four-door models. However, the Corolla Cross’s larger dimensions create more room for passengers–particularly in the back seat–and additional space for cargo. Lower trims are far more basic, but the XLE model comes with nice-looking faux-leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped shift knob, and a flip-down center armrest for rear-seat passengers.