Indus Motor Company (IMC), the assembler of Toyota vehicles in Pakistan, is gearing up to introduce the Corolla Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) produced locally, with a launch anticipated by December. Ali Jamali, IMC’s CEO, discussed the company’s substantial $100 million investment in domestic HEV production with journalists, highlighting its significance.
This substantial investment is poised to not only diminish import expenses but also generate an estimated annual saving of $37 million as production ramps up to 30,000 HEV units. This move is a significant step in the automotive industry of Pakistan, steering it towards a more eco-friendly and sustainable direction.
The initiative is in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, particularly focusing on mitigating climate change. The introduction of HEVs in Pakistan is expected to lower emissions, create job opportunities, and open up prospects for exports.
Jamali raised concerns about the rising costs of locally manufactured cars, attributing it to factors like high taxation, inflation, the influx of imported used cars, and currency fluctuations. He emphasized the necessity of a structured import policy to foster the growth of the domestic auto industry. He noted that over 6,500 used cars were imported in the fiscal year 2022-23, and more than 7,500 in the first three months of the current fiscal year, which hinders the progress and potential for further local production in Pakistan.
Despite these hurdles, Jamali acknowledged the recent easing of restrictions on letters of credit (LCs) for imports, which has helped in acquiring essential raw materials and boosted sales for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in September 2023. However, a year-on-year comparison still shows a 26 percent decrease in sales.
Jamali recognized the challenges related to production and demand in the auto industry, including temporary plant closures and reduced capacities of vendors. He appreciated the government’s support in promoting policies that encourage local production and its role in revitalizing the auto industry, contributing to the nation’s economic recovery. He reiterated IMC’s dedication to overcoming these challenges and leading the auto industry towards a brighter and more sustainable future.