Local cars versus imports

Updated Jul 12, 2013 07:29am

THIS is in response to a number of appeals in the press by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA). The PAMA’s antics show that, beyond any doubt, it does not care at all about what the ordinary Pakistani customer wants.

It has only worked to protect the monopoly formed by three major automobile assemblers in Pakistan. If it had any interest in what the customer requires in a vehicle that he buys with his hard-earned money, it would have encouraged the very same assemblers it supports to improve their product quality rather than getting the prices of imported vehicles out of the common man’s reach.

In one of its ‘appeals’ (read: whines), a comparison was shown between a secondhand imported car against a so-called brand new Pakistani-assembled car. The PAMA compared the resale value, fuel compatibility and availability of spare parts within that appeal advertisement.

However, the PAMA should also have compared the build quality, crash test results (if any are held by any local assembler), safety features offered and any additional features offered in a local car as compared to a secondhand import.

But that would only have revealed how the local car assemblers fleece every customer in the name of ‘own’ money, jacked up prices and producing substandard quality cars, so it is understandable why such comparisons were not made.

It is also interesting to note the PAMA has hardly, if ever, encouraged new automobile manufacturers to enter the Pakistani market since any new entrants would probably force the local car assemblers to reduce prices or improve quality.

One can only wonder and guess as to what ‘benefits’ do the concerned government officials and the PAMA representatives get in return for protecting the interests of the major local car assemblers.

It should be a matter of shame for those who are granting unreasonable protection to the local car assemblers at the cost of ordinary Pakistani citizens.

The PAMA should now openly state that it does not care about what any Pakistani customer wants in his vehicle and that it only cares about making the highest profits at the cost of the customers who have no choice in what they want to buy other than what the local assemblers have to offer them. The new government, if it has any interests of the people who voted them to power at heart, should cease to unreasonably protect the local car assemblers as has been the practice in the past. Otherwise, it would end up doing just what the previous government did.

The government should have an independent and reputable audit firm conduct a cost audit at every local car assembler. The truth about the costs and margins on every car will come out in the open in that manner.

MUHID ZAKARIA Karachi


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Comments (11) Closed


jazi
Jul 12, 2013 11:14am

Why to guess? governemt and PAMA officials are surely minting billions of rupees through kickbacks. The second hand imported vehicles are far more sophisticated than crudely built suzuki vehicles. I am staunch believer of this fact that if government is serious then these kind of issues, vital to public benfit, must be raised and settled in parliamnet. But i think this is only a hope and has less to do with reality in Pakistan. The kind of incompetent and corrupt leadership we have in the country and complacent public, the propects of any good development on these issues is even grim.

Amit
Jul 12, 2013 12:41pm

Cars are assembled in Pakistan! Wow, great news.

yans
Jul 12, 2013 02:58pm

@Amit: Yes Dude! Indeed Better than those tata ones atleast, joke of a car 80% of india travels in :)

Amal
Jul 12, 2013 06:21pm

@yans: Tata motors.. A joke of a car??.. Then something is wrong with u buddy.. Ever heard of jaguar cars owned by tata motors.. Just google it..

Guest456
Jul 12, 2013 10:46pm

@yans: Jaguars is now owned by Tata, Mahindra and Mahindra exports SUV's to US n Europe. Nano is a innovation that caught every one by surprise. Name your cars please

Sunil Vickson
Jul 13, 2013 12:25am

Why would Pakistani government care???

Khalid
Jul 13, 2013 12:59am

How interesting that Pakistan governments successively have protected the producers of cars in Pakistan and not their 100s of millions of citizens. I am sure it is because the government officials are taking bribes from these manufacturers so that prices of imported cars are kept out of the reach of the majority of people. Wouldn't it be better to allow the citizens of Pakistan to decide what would buy them the best value for money but if the prices of imported cars are kept very high artificially, the only choice Pakistanis have to buy the rubbish that is manufactured in Pakistan. If Tata can produce a car which is fully manufactured in India and is sold for a 100,000 rupees, why can't Pakistani manufacturers do something similar. I would go as far as to say that the government should allow import of Tata cars into Pakistan to give the local manufacturers a run for their money. I would love to see how many of these substandard cars will then be sold in Pakistan. Pakistani manufacturers have no incentive to make cheaper or superior quality cars because their is no competition. It is just silly not to allow imports to safeguard the local cartels. The only way forward is to allow fair competition and it will be in the interest of the citizens of Pakistan. But then what Pakistan government would be interested in allowing an honest competition?. It is not in their personal interest. Forget about what is best for the nation.

Khalid
Jul 13, 2013 01:11am

@yans: You comment lacks basic manners and is rude. I hope you are not a Pakistani because we don't need arrogance and rudeness when talking about our Indian brothers and sisters. You also have no idea how many Mercedes and BMW cars are sold in India as well as the locally made excellent cars. You are still living in the 60s and although we in Pakistan have stood still since then, India has progressed to become one of the super powers of the world. Please learn about what is happening in the world and get you head out of the sand and keep away from making baseless and irresponsible comments. Someone smart once said... if you keep your mouth shut, nobody would know how stupid you are.

gangadin
Jul 13, 2013 01:59am

Its all about exclusivity. If a general with an IQ of a banana can run around in a Benz, why can't a hardworking person buy the same car with their own money?

Khurram
Jul 13, 2013 02:49am

@Amal: Tata didn't design Jaguars (in your dreams). Tata only acquired Jaguar from Ford and Ford acquired it earlier. Lets not go crazy here!

Ali
Jul 13, 2013 02:45pm

This Tata is surely a joke. It lasts hardly a year and the engine is siezed with 15-20% of them. As far as Jaguar is concerned, Jaguar itself was one of the biggest losers which was purchased at throw away price by Tata. The Indian pandit policy is working here successfully and the sinking ship is being pulled back on the surface. We must apprecaite what is right. On our main topic, the car assemblers of Pak are definitely a mafia that play big games to keep the stocks below the demand level and thus manipulate prices in connivance of the corrupt govt officials.