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