Proton Pakistan has announced revised pricing for the Saga and X70, with both being more affordable than before. The new prices are for locally assembled (CKD) units that will soon come out of Al-Haj Automotive’s (the carmaker’s local partner) plant in Karachi and benefit from the federal government’s recent decision to reduce duties and taxes for cars.

Under the new structure, the federal excise duty (FED) has been abolished for cars with engine capacities from 660 cc to 1,000 cc. For cars with engine capacities from 1,001 cc to 2,000 cc, the FED was decreased to 2.5% from 5%, and from 2,001 cc to 3,000 cc, it’s now 5% instead of 7.5%.

Other revisions include a reduction in the general sales tax (GST) for cars up to 1,000 cc from 17% to 12.5%, while additional customs duty (ACD) on all vehicles is down to 2% from 7%. These initiatives are meant to reduce vehicles prices and make them more affordable to consumers in order to promote sales in the industry, Pakistan’s Dawn reports.

In Pakistan, the Saga is powered by a S4PE engine with a displacement of 1,299 cc that makes 92 PS (91 hp) and 120 Nm of torque. The engine has 33 cc less than the Malaysian model that has a capacity of 1,332 cc, with transmission pairings being a four-speed torque converter automatic and a five-speed manual.

With the new pricing scheme, the entire Saga line-up, which consists of the Standard MT, Standard AT and Ace AT, is now cheaper by 50,000 Pakistani rupees (RM1,320). As such, the Standard MT is now 1.925 million Pakistani rupees (RM50,805) instead of 1.975 million PKR (RM52,125), while the Standard AT retails at 2.075 million PKR (RM54,764) instead of 2.125 million Pakistani rupees (RM56,084).

As for the range-topping Ace AT, it now goes for 2.175 million PKR (RM57,403) instead of 2.225 million PKR (RM58,723). Moving on the X70, the SUV’s two available variants are now 100,000 PKR (RM2,639) less compared to previous prices.

The entry-level Executive AWD now goes for 4.59 million PKR (RM121,140) instead of 4.69 million PKR (RM123,779), while the top Premium 2WD goes for 4.89 million PKR (RM129,057), down from 4.99 million PKR (RM131,698).

Like the Saga, the X70’s engine remains unchanged, with a 1.5 TGDi three-cylinder unit providing 177 PS (175 hp) and 255 Nm, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Both models also see no change to the list of standard equipment.

As reported previously, the Karachi facility, which was set up with an investment of about USD30 million (around RM126.3 million), will have a planned capacity of 25,000 units per year and was originally supposed to have commenced operations before the end of 2020. However, delays due to the pandemic have affected this timeline, with Proton Pakistan revealing on its official Facebook page recently that the facility is in its final stages of completion and is ready to commence trial production very soon.

According to the company, the Saga will be first model to be locally assembled, with the first units set to roll off the line within 45 days of the lockdown being lifted in Malaysia. This is because the CKD kits for the sedan are prepared at the national carmaker’s Shah Alam plant in Selangor, which is currently under the enhanced movement control order (EMCO). As for the X70, local assembly of the SUV is expected to start later in the fourth quarter of 2021.