Pakistan automobile sector rides high demand

Pakistan automobile sector rides high demand
Employees of Indus Motor Company move a pressed metal door frame for a Toyota Corolla vehicle at a plant in Karachi.

A large number of customers are facing three to four months' waiting period to get delivery of cars, including Toyota and Honda.

By M. Aftab

Published: Sun 13 Mar 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 14 Mar 2016, 9:11 AM

Pakistan's auto sector brightened up the nation's industrial scene this week. The sector is upbeat with rising car and vehicle production, a huge quantity of state-of-the technology spares and components, a growing number of customers and easy bank financing.
The Pakistan Auto Show-2016, the 12th in its series, was staged at Lahore. With increased production capacity and easy prices, demand is rising fast. A large number of customers are facing three to four months' waiting period to get delivery of cars, including Toyota and Honda.
Mumshad Ali, chairman, Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers said: "As a result of our high-tech and pro-consumer products, the demand for automobiles, components and spare parts is expected to rise over the next three to five years. We are committed to all aspects, including pricing, styling, designing, technology, spacing,  user ease and comfort."
Ali said: "The annual revenue of local parts turnover is estimated at $4 billion. The current export turnover is $1 billion. The major buyers for the Pakistani auto parts industry are from the US, Europe, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Africa. China, Thailand and Malaysia are the key countries from which the auto parts industry imports its requirements.
Syed Nabeel Hashmi, chief organiser, Pakistan Auto Show, said over the years, the event has brought a paradigm shift to the sector. Today, a good response to the show indicates the shift of preferences of producers and consumers to Pakistan because of its high-tech production and  high caliber workers and engineers.
Car sales in eight months (July-February) of fiscal year 2016 rose 37.7 per cent compared to the like period of fiscal year 2015, the Pakistan  Automotive  Manufacturers Association said. During this period, 121,934 cars were sold from 88,538 units in the like period of fiscal year 2015.
"The government is clearing  ways for new automotive assemblers in Pakistan. It means increasing competition in the industry," said Hashmi. 
Tariq Chaudhry, chief  executive officer of Pakistan Engineering Development Board, praised the role of the automotive industry. He said: "Pakistan's automotive industry is playing a crucial role in strengthening the national economy and elevating Pakistan's image as a progressive and modern country with a strong industrial base." 
The industry feels encouraged by the global applaud it has received from 135 countries and professional groups. Chaudhry said the government of Pakistan is committed to take all possible measures to encourage large-scale investments  and enhance the business-friendly environment for the automotive  and engineering sectors.
He added: "I congratulate  our local industrialists and engineers who have had remarkable success in establishing a sophisticated  engineering sector, which is creating new opportunities for value-added exports. These include fully assembled cars, commercial vehicles and tractors, motor cycles, special purpose vehicles, and all types of hi-tech components and parts."
The industry and the government have been working on details of more incentives for the auto industry and new policies for the auto industry at this week's meeting of the cabinet's economic committee.
But its chairman and finance minister Ishaq Dar said after the meeting: "The inter-ministerial level meeting will finalise its additional proposals and ready the auto policy for finalisation."
The government has laid down five policy objectives for the auto industry: To facilitate higher volumes, more investment, better quality and the latest technology; creating a balance between industrial growth and tariffs; stimulating growth and streamlining trading  activities; ensuring consumer welfare, quality, safety, choice and value for money and police developments, consistency, predictability and review mechanism.
The writer is based in Islamabad. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.

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