Duplicity of Pakistani Car Manufacturers

Source:  Pakistan Herald Published in Auto Industry on Friday, August 8, 2014

I was very happy to have Japanese car makers manufacturing their latest cars in Pakistan.

I always thought that this would not only help reduce the cost of cars, but will also help increase the facilities and safety of cars in Pakistan, and the boy in me was secretly hoping for these companies to eventually start a professional car racing industry in Pakistan. But after passage of more than 2 decades, I see that Pakistani cars have tripled in price, while not many new models or facilities or even safety features have been introduced in the cars in Pakistan. 

In fact I am shocked to find that second hand Japanese imported cars of the same company, model and year, are not only cheaper, but they have a ton of extra facilities and safety features which are missing in Pakistani cars. Strangely the price of automobiles was greatly increased (50-60%) in 2008. 

At that time the companies blamed the increasing dollar rate but we have all witnessed a steep fall in dollar rate and there has been no decrease in automobile rates in Pakistan. Similarly, the amount of extra facilities like back cameras, cruise control, LED displays etc and safety features like air bags, back seat belts, ABS, fog lights etc are staggering in imported second hand Japanese cars but are missing in Pakistani manufactured cars. 

My questions were answered when I met an ex-employee of one of the major automobile manufacturer who told me, in great details, how the cars in Pakistan are "downgraded" at the manufacturers facility. Since the Pakistan car manufacturers do not use local part makers, they instead import pre-assembled car parts, that are than assembled into a car at the Pakistani facility. While assembling the manufacturer removes all the advance facilities and safety features from the pre-assembled parts, replacing them with cheap and unsafe alternatives. 

The removed parts are than re-exported to Japan for further sale. Although the Pakistani car manufacturing association is very powerful. But if the CCP or any other Government organization want, they can easily impound all in-transit shipments of pre-assembled parts, and than compare the features of these parts with the parts installed in cars available at the manufacturers dealerships. 

 I think our Prime Minister, Mr Nawaz Sharif, is a car lover and he would also want the Pakistani car manufacturing sector to be eventually exporting and researching new cars from Pakistan. Therefore he should look into this investigation personally and ensure no unfair practices are used in deceiving the public.

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Written by Shahryar Khan Baseer

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