KARACHI: Pak Suzuki has announced its plans to start local production of Suzuki Alto 660cc by 2018 to replace its iconic Mehran 800cc.

The information was shared with the Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production which was visiting Pak Suzuki Motor Company Limited (PSMCL) plant on Thursday.

The Senate committee asked the auto assembler to introduce global standard safety features in its new model.

The Senate delegation was led by Senator Hidayatullah and included Khalida Parveen, Kalsoom Perveen and Chaudhry Tanvir Khan. Additional Secretary, Ministry of Industries and Production, Sher Ayub Khan and Engineering Development Board CEO, Tariq Ejaz Chaudhry also accompanied the delegation. Sources said the company has already started the process of localisation of parts for the new 660cc car with local vendors.

The company in its presentation to the delegation unveiled its future plans regarding introduction of Celerio 1,000cc by March 2017 in place of Suzuki Cultus. The company had introduced Suzuki Cultus in the year 2000, replacing Suzuki Khyber.

The car assembler would also introduce imported Suzuki Grand Vitara SUV and 1,300cc Sedan Ciaz in 2017. Based on feedback, the company would consider assembling these vehicles in Pakistan, sources added.

Pak Suzuki had discontinued Suzuki FX 800cc in 1988 and introduced Mehran which had not seen any turbulence in its sale trend despite influx of used imported cars of 660-1,000cc.

Sources said the standing committee noted that local vendors are not in favour for discontinuation of Suzuki Mehran due to brisk sales of parts and accessories and its localisation content of over 70 per cent.

Pak Suzuki management briefed the committee that in its existing plant, investment of over Rs15 billion has been done.

The Senate delegation also visited Indus Motor Company (IMC) on Thursday.

The delegation was briefed about the various aspects of lMC such as production capabilities, localisation progress and the impact of the auto industry on the economy of Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2016

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