Chinese firms evince significant interest in Pakistan Car market


ISLAMABAD: China’s automobile makers have evinced significant interest in Pakistan’s car market, launching various brands offering better technology and more safety features.
Due to the auto policy 2016-21 and China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), many Chinese automakers have entered Pakistan. They are collaborating with local companies to start their operations.
At least four Chinese firms Changan, Jinbei, Joylong, and Lifan, and Beijing automobile works (BAW) are said by the Engineering Development Board to have set up shops in Pakistan in collaboration with their local partner companies to sell their light commercial vehicles, passenger cars, crossovers, and SUVs.
Few others are also looking to bring their brands with the help of local firms. But most of them have chosen to let their local partners assemble their brands under the “technical licenses”.
Recently Changan Pakistan, the makers of minivan Karvaan, mini pickups M8 and M9, and sedan Alsvin, are considering launching two SUVs Uni-T and Oshan X7, and double cabin pick-up Hunter.
The 1.5-litre turbocharged small crossover Uni-T falls in the category of Kia Sportage, Toyota CH-R, and Nissan Juke. Meanwhile, Oshan X7, which is also 1.5 turbocharged but a bit bigger and comparable to MG Motors’ MG-HS and Hyundai Tucson The 1.9 litre Turbo Charged Hunter is comparable to Isuzu D-Max and Toyota Hilux. The company has confirmed that it has been testing the three vehicles on Pakistan roads.
Chinese Changan entered the country in partnership with Master Motors, introduced its sedan called Alsvin in January 2021. It is the cheapest sedan in the country. The plant has an annual production capacity of 30,000, twice that of KIA’s.
According to AKD a capital market giant, Sazgar, the only listed Auto-Rickshaw manufacturer in Pakistan, partnered with Beijing Automotive Industry Company (BAIC) is to introduce 3 BAIC cars namely an off-roader, BAIC BJ40 Plus, a compact crossover, BAIC Senova X25, and a hatchback, BAIC Senova D20 in Pakistan.
Moreover, the Chinese SAIC along with JW Automobiles Pakistan launched MG cars in Pakistan. Until now MG Pakistan has imported only CBUs from China including two types of crossovers namely MG HS, MG ZS, and is expected to import other models as teased by CEO MG Pakistan Javed Afridi. Reportedly, the company is also setting up manufacturing in Pakistan.
Under the Auto Development Policy 2016-21, Changan Pakistan has been marked as a greenfield project. In comparison to established companies such as Toyota, Honda, and Suzuki, new companies such as Proton, Kia, Hyundai, MG Motors, and Sazgar would pay lower duties. The ADP 2016-21 policy expires in June 2021, and new models launched by new firms, known as industry entrants, will be considered for duty reductions for the entire five-year cycle. After the ADP expires, the entrants will introduce a new vehicle, but the later they do so, the smaller the window for duty relaxation would be. – Agencies