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KARACHI: Auto-part maker Loads Ltd will begin local manufacturing of alloy wheels, a stock notice said on Thursday.

Car assemblers currently import alloy wheels as they are not produced in the country.

The company said its wholly owned subsidiary, Hi-Tech Autoparts, has signed an agreement with an Australian company for the purchase of a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant.

Its procurement will be over within six months and the plant will be installed at Bin Qasim Industrial Park. A financial plan will be finalised in the ensuing board of directors’ meeting.

Meanwhile, an official of Loads Ltd said the company is buying a used plant from Australia from where global car makers have pulled out due to a liberal import policy and costly labour. Toyota Australia was the last manufacturer that closed down its operations recently.

After the closure of the auto assembly, auto-part makers and allied industries in Australia are disposing of their machinery, plants and equipment.

The initial project cost of the alloy wheel unit in Karachi, including land price, hovers around Rs1.25-1.5 billion. The plant will have the capacity to produce 500,000 wheels per year.

The company will provide alloy wheels to local assemblers initially. In the next phase, it will export the product and supply it to the aftermarket, depending on the market response, he said.

The company has already talked to local assemblers about the product. The locally made alloy wheel will cost less than the imported one.

Loads Ltd raised Rs1.75bn through an initial public offering two years back against the expectation of Rs0.75bn.

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2017