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The only place where old Sportage is still put together is in Pakistan

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Kumail Zaidi

One of the most established and popular models offered by the South Korean carmaker is Sportage. In addition to being Kia's best-selling model, this particular Kia is the first ever to achieve a milestone of 6 million units in cumulative global sales, which was reached in May 2021.

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The fifth generation of the Sportage, which debuted in June 2021, is now in use. The most recent version has been available in foreign markets for more than a year and has already spread to the majority of countries. It is now offered in two iterations for the first time. The short wheelbase variant is offered in the European and South African markets, while the extended wheelbase version is sold in international markets such as China, Oceania, South Korea domestic, and North American markets.

The most recent Sportage is produced at Kia's five factories around the globe, including those in Gwangju, South Korea, West Point, Georgia, the United States, Kaliningrad, Russia, Chu Lai, Vietnam, and Zilina, Slovakia. Production at the Malaysian plant is anticipated to begin in the first quarter of 2023. Including Yancheng, China, Gwangju, South Korea, Kaliningrad, Russia, Batna, Algeria, and Karachi, Pakistan, the preceding fourth-generation model was made in seven different countries: Zilina, Slovakia, Kaliningrad, Malaysia, Gurun, and Malaysia.

However, Pakistan is still the only nation where the dated 4th generation Sportage is being built. The new 5th generation Sportage has already been released in right-hand-drive (RHD) territories, including Australia, South Africa, the UK, and other European markets, in addition to a number of other regions across the world.

The 4th generation Sportage is now Kia Pakistan's best-selling model. It was once Pakistan's third-best-selling locally produced car, according to unofficial statistics. Despite the more difficult economic climate, around 2,560 Sportage units were sold throughout the first three months of the current fiscal year, or about 853 units per month.

The new 5th generation Sportage is about to be released in Malaysia (another RHD market), where it is anticipated to debut as a CBU in Q4, 2022, and assembly operations at Kia's facility in Gurun are anticipated to start in early 2023. Although the debut date of the new Kia Sportage in Pakistan is not yet known, considering that three out of four models made locally by Kia are already out-of-date, it would be unrealistic to anticipate the introduction of a new model any time soon.

Furthermore, it is quite challenging for any carmaker to introduce a new vehicle in Pakistan due to the present economic climate and restrictions on the import of CKD parts. The price of the fourth-generation Kia Sportage has already surpassed Rs 7.1 million; the new model will undoubtedly be more expensive and put Sportage in the same price range as the third-generation Sorento, another globally outmoded model currently being sold in Pakistan, with prices starting at Rs 7.8 million.

 

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Kumail Zaidi
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