The revelation of BAIC at the 2020 PAPS auto show in Lahore made it an instant star for the public, mainly because it offered a better and cheaper alternative to Pakistani car buyers.
A year and 28 days have passed since the reveal and the company has been mostly silent since then, while other cars have already been launched and have reportedly sold their units by the thousands.
However, a recent media report revealed that the Sazgar Engineering Works Limited’s (SEWL) assembly plant for BAIC is expected to become operational by April, and the CKD cars will be on sale within the next three months. The report also mentioned that the new plant will have a capacity to assemble 24,000 cars annually.
Last year, it was reported that BAIC would launch three cars in the Pakistani market, namely the D20 (hatchback and sedan), the X25 crossover SUV, and the BJ40 off-road SUV. The company will begin assembling these cars in Pakistan this year under the green-field status that it obtained as a part of the Automotive Development Policy (ADP) 2016-21.
The report highlighted that there is a misunderstanding about the ADP 2020-21 incentive policy that dictates that its incentive cut-off point is 30 June. However, the truth is that the government has the power to extend the incentive tenure of the vehicles launched before the end of the current fiscal year until June 2026.
The cars that are launched after the fiscal year 2021 will be denied of all the incentives under the ADP 2016-21 for the next five years, which means that BAIC also has only three months left to finally enter the local market, or be doomed to a dark fate as far as its presence in the Pakistani market is concerned.