THIS is in response to the automakers who are lobbying the economic coordination committee of the cabinet to decide against the import of used Japanese cars or reduce their import age limits. The case presented to the ECC is purely in favour of the local automakers without taking into consideration the reasons why local customers are favouring a five-year-old imported car instead of a brand new locally-assembled one.

It is not pointing out the substandard quality of a Mehran when comparing it to an imported Alto. The reason why an imported Fielder is even considered in favour of a Toyota Corolla Gli, the lack of basic features on many local cars (air bags, ABS, sound proofing, automatic transmission, audio systems, and the list goes on) and the malpractices in which the local auto industry and its dealers were involved in, such as the ‘on’ price of up to Rs1.5 million if you wanted a car delivered on time and the upfront payment of the car value and even that without any guarantee of a final delivery price.

I would like to appeal to the ECC to compare the locally assembled Corolla, City, Alto, Mehran, etc., to similar cars available in our neighbouring countries and find out for themselves the features lacking in them.

I would also like them to consider revising the prices for these cars (a Camry here sells for twice as much as in India, a Honda CRV sells for Rs7.5 million here as compared to Rs5 million in Pakistani currency in India), as well as find out why local auto makers haven’t aggressively introduced family vehicles (such as the Fielder and MPV vans) at affordable pricing in the market (except for the newly-introduced Toyota Avanza and the Suzuki MPV). The case against the local automakers can become strong if the other side of the story is explored by the ECC.

IMRAN WAZEER                 Islamabad

Updated Nov 09, 2012 03:32am

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Comments (4) (Closed)

Pro truth
Nov 09, 2012 11:39am
Absolutely spot on, ECC should look into the facts that why a similar car assembled in Pakistan is very inferior quality compared same model assembled elsewhere. Why people prefer to buy nearly 5 years old car compared to brand new assembled in Pakistan! Pakistani assemblers, trying get monopoly in the free market without putting effort to produce quality cars in the country. Car theft is major issue in Pakistan, yet no local assemblers are isntalling or even provide an option of immobalisers, that are almost standard in 5 years old cars from abroad! Other issue is safety of ABS, airbags. ECC should however streamline car import policy so only personal baggage or gift be used by genuine personal importers. They should devise a policy for sustained commercial imports separately to personal imports that are being abused by dealers. Government should also put curb on accident and written off cars imports as most of these are not safe to drive, these cars shouldnot be back on the roads. Bottom line Government should regulate both sides to create a healthy environment of competition instead of flip flop policy of import and bans!
Nov 09, 2012 04:35am
I like the other side of the story! Similar situation exists almost in every thing, where the mafia can milk money.
S. Nasir Mehdi
Nov 09, 2012 08:49pm
Take example of Iran they are producing more then one million cars and also have plants in Nicaragoay, Syria, and two or three African countries. They banned old cars to ply on roads. We will have to improve spare part industry. Pakistanis have great potential they only need encouragement..
Nov 09, 2012 05:57pm
Finally someone writing about the auto industry in Pakistan. Kudos to Imran Wazeer. I hope this topic gets more attention in the media which will compell these local automakers to mend their ways. The prices of cars in Pakistan are astronomical and the infrastructure (roads) even worse.