Heavy vehicles sector gears up investment

Published November 22, 2015
CHAMAN: Trucks carrying goods on the Torkham highway to Afghanistan are seen in this file photo.
CHAMAN: Trucks carrying goods on the Torkham highway to Afghanistan are seen in this file photo.

KARACHI: Heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) assemblers have geared up their investment plans, anticipating a surge in demand in wake of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“Multiple projects under the CPEC, including the 3,000km long highway, will provide ample opportunities to local industries,” Naushad Riaz, Senior General Manager, Strategic Business Planning and Quality Assurance Division Hinopak Motors Limited (HPML) told Dawn.

“In 2015-16, HPML is investing around Rs300 million to match new demand,” he said, hoping for similar investment in the years ahead.

“Besides normal trucks, buses and coaches, the production of special purpose vehicles would also increase,” he said.

HPML sold 598 trucks in July-October 2015 as compared to 365 units in the same period in 2014. Hino bus sales swelled to 251 units from 139 units.

HPML in 2015 launched rear engine buses that were well received as indicated by the number of orders.

“More new products are in the pipeline and would soon be launched,” Mr Riaz said.

“We are well equipped to produce dumpers, crane mounted vehicles, concrete mixers, water and fuel bowsers, water sprinklers, etc required for construction activities under CPEC,” he said.

Currently HPML has an annual installed capacity for 6,500 units of trucks and bus chassis.

“We can produce 2,000 bus bodies at a separate Bus Body Plant,” he added.

To meet growing demand, the company has extended working hours for the plants besides adding around 100 workers this year.

He believed that the upcoming ‘Auto Policy’ and ‘Strategic Trade Policies’ would play a pivotal role in the sector’s progress.

“The industry is concerned about availability of Euro-II grade diesel which denies masses the benefits even though most commercial vehicles in operation are equipped with Euro-II engines.”

He urged the government for an early launch date for Euro II diesel along with the road map for Euro III diesel.

GNL: Senior Executive Director Marketing and Sales, Ghandhara Nissan Limited (GNL) Muazzam Pervaiz Khan said the company invested Rs40m in 2015 for procuring fixtures and improving its body shop and paint shop and another Rs20m in tooling costs.

The company offered four products which included Captain C-125 HP- LCV, Realling M-100 HP- LCV, DFL3180- 210 HP-MCV and DFL4250-280 HP- HCV besides “opening 100 jobs directly and 150 indirectly.”

He said GNL in 2016 would invest Rs10m for the jigs and fixtures of new variant DFL-4251-340 HP – HCV and another Rs20m for dealers’ development. “Around 50 people would get jobs directly, followed by 100 indirect jobs,” he added.

Khan said the bus market will also expand with the entry of new players.

He ruled out any slowdown in sales during 2016, stressing that mass goods transit was increasing.

GIL: Sharing future plans at Ghandhara Industries Limited (GIL), an official said that CPEC will generate more business and employment and “will be a game changer for the transport industry.”

Sharing details, he said the company has launched two new heavy duty trucks and prime movers this year, ISUZU FVR 240 and FVZ 280 Super Euro 2 models.

Furthermore, the company has been conducting Road Show 2015 all over Pakistan and giving a price benefit in bookings at the road shows.

“The company is working on developing more 3S dealers all across the country,” the official informed.

GIL sold 1,020 units of ISUZU Trucks, Prime Movers and Buses in 2014-15, up by 56 per cent from the past year.

Its overall heavy vehicle market grew by 40-50pc in 2014-15 due to low interest rates, rising financing and leasing trends, positive economic indications and improved law and order situation.

In July-October 2015, Isuzu truck sales jumped to 354 units from 274 units in same period 2014 followed by rise in bus sales to 30 units from 17 units.

GIL had signed a memorandum of understanding with National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) under the Prime Minister Youth Business Loan (PMYBL) Scheme to focus on development of small businesses for educated and unemployed youth.

The applicants will procure GIL’s commercial vehicles to facilitate business activities and NBP would assist in financing the assets under the PMYBL Scheme.

Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2015

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