Salman Khan
Salman Khan

KARACHI: The Lucky Motor Corporation (LMC), manufacturer and distributor of Kia vehicles, entered into a Licence and Technical Assistance Agreement this week with the Stellantis Group to assemble and distribute one of their European brands in Pakistan.

The Stellantis Group is the world’s fourth largest car group which was recently formed and it contains a portfolio of 14 international brands.

The LMC in mid-2019 had signed an MoU and expression of interest (EoI) with Groupe PSA which is now part of the Stellantis Group. Last year before achieving the manufacturing licence under the government’s new entrant policy, the LMC (then known as Kia Lucky Motors) had informed the government of its intentions to partner with Peugeot, a brand of the Stellantis Group.

The CEO of LMC, Asif Rizvi, told Dawn on Thursday that “LMC is set to create history in the automobile industry of Pakistan by manufacturing and distributing two different international brands under one roof and ushering in an era of multi-brand car companies”.

Lucky Motor, Stellantis Group enter into Licence and Technical Assistance Agreement

“We are planning to assemble vehicles of a Stellantis Group brand within the Automotive Development Policy (ADP) 2016-2021 period at our manufacturing facility in Bin Qasim Industrial Park (BQIP) where Kia vehicles are manufactured,” the CEO of LMC said.

The new European initiative carries an investment of €10 million, he said, without giving any hint about manufacturing of any specific models before the expiry of 2016-2021 Auto Development Policy on June 30, 2021.

“Our strategy is to leverage our state-of-the-art facility for manufacturing small volumes of niche products on the back of high volume manufacturing of the Kia brand,” he said, adding that such small volume niche products were very difficult to sustain on their own.

The opportunity to partner with Stellantis, a global leader for a number of brands under its flag, is a strategic leap for Lucky Motors which could foster future partnerships with other brands of the Group such as Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Citroen, Opel, Vauxhall, etc., he said.

Another first was the introduction of a locally assembled premium European brand in Pakistan, allowing consumers to now have access to a brand outside of Asia, Mr Rizvi said.

“Truly, Pakistan is now well on its way to representing global auto brands,” he said, adding that “we are very confident and happy that the people of Pakistan will soon be able to add a premier European brand to the list of choices they will now have, which would not have been possible otherwise as a stand-alone brand. Further, we will deliver a strong customer experience through our new multi-brand dealerships,” he said.

“European vehicles have their own unique style and technology, which is a good addition to the automotive landscape of the country. The true gainers will be consumers who have been without much choice for a long time,” Mr Rizvi said.

The ADP 2016-2021 had so far attracted investment of more than one billion dollars from the foreign investors including Chinese and Korean manufacturers.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2021

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