It should be the fifth Pakistani vehicle ever built actually but we weren’t able to catch up with Mr. Chairman of House of Habib who knew about the other Pakistani vehicle which was actually, a 4×4 pick up truck. I don’t know if he was talking about one we’ve mentioned below but he is a proper automotive enthusiast; who revealed the information about that effort in very light detail while speaking at an event.
However, we’ve often heard and said that Revo was the first ever car designed and assembled in Pakistan using Chinese parts but before Revo, and in fact any of the vehicles, and to the best of our knowledge, three siblings made their own convertible car as a mode of transport to IBA, Karachi and back home.
Revo was not the first Pakistani car. Hamid Omar designed and hand-built Pakistan’s first ever car in 1967 using left over angle iron from a electric transmission tower.
The car had better speed than the yellow rickshaws you see today, with a 200cc rope start pump engine, it had a cruising speed of 40 MPH with Lambretta scooter tyres converting that power into velocity, and you’ll be amazed to know that the car was in use for more than 10 years.
Hamid Omar told the story of registering the car to Off Road Pakistan (and we highly recommend you to check out the entire story of the car):
When I went to get this car registered, they wanted the Bill of Lading, the import documentations like the B/L (bill of lading), country, manufacturer. Since the car was made here, none of these papers were there, and they said that it is no car can be registered without these documents. There was no precedent – so at that time after lots of trips to various govt. offices, Lahore’s DIG Traffic finally agreed to inspect the car. He took a test drive around the block, and then gave the order to have it registered.
I used the car for two years in Lahore and then three years in Karachi. Then Ahmad Omar used it for 3 years, then Taimur Mumtaz used it for a further two years.
Haroon Industries was a joint-venture with Skoda called SkoPak, where we produced /assembled pick ups just like we build the current lot of vehicles but back then, we were fast paced. We had a positive outlook of the future and after being founded in just 1968, and moving into the early 70s, Pakistani engineers had already designed and built a body using the chassis of Skoda Octavia Combi.
That project too fell victim to politics and the economic destruction during 1971, and could never move on but we can only imagine what SkoPak would’ve been today if they had been able to continue.
There was also the Naya Daur Motors who assembled Ford Willy’s Jeep but I believe it was just assembly unlike the two vehicles mentioned above which were designed and built by Pakistanis and not just assembled.
The third was the brainchild of a Lahore based roadside mechanic, a true entrepreneur, late Khalil-ur-Rahman who, in the early 80s saw the gaps in the market and introduced a small pick up truck by the name of Proficient. Our research into the said product indicated that it was available for just One lac rupees until Government delivered a fatal blow by giving Pak Suzuki concession on importing CBU (Completely Built Units) of the Carry now known as ‘Ravi’.
Ravi was the same capacity as the one designed and built by Proficient but this multinational competition was too much for the small start-up however, there were those who tried to help in keeping the Pakistani pick up afloat and thus, Mr. Khalil moved his garage into Islamabad but wasn’t able to fight the competition when Government were busy providing incentives to foreign companies and totally devastated the local companies. Though internet reports suggests that the children of the automotive entrepreneur, late Khalil-ur-Rahman are working on different projects to realize their father’s dream and if they somehow read this, then we urge to contact PakWheels.
And then we have the Adam Revo. Making it the fourth car made by Pakistanis but we believe Revo was as close as we could ever come to actually producing our best bet.
Omar Jibran Engineering was the parent company of Adam Motors Company, a project by another Pakistani entrepreneur, Feroz Khan, the company designed and built the car and it met its goal which was “To be cheaper than Suzuki Mehran”, and it did just that by being 46,000 rupees cheaper than Mehran at a price of 269,000 and Khan believes that after adjusting for rupee depreciation and inflation, Revo would today be around 600,000 rupees against Mehran’s 686,000 rupees but Feroz Khan learned some precious lessons. Never trust a politician. Short-cut Aziz had promised that Government will buy the Revo instead of Mehran for Government employees and the resolution of Kashmir issue was more likely than this happening.
Anyways, with failed promises and pressure by the big three automakers of Pakistan who Adam challenged, eventually, led to the closure of the company after a year of operation. But the promising thing was that Revo had good demand by individual buyers like you and me which brought in interest from foreign investors as well but Feroz Khan decided to shut shop.
The project was never acknowledged by the Pakistani politicians, even Nawaz Sharif at a recent event of PAPS (Pakistan Auto Parts Show) lamented on his dream of a Pakistani car and it is a pity that he was unbeknownst to all these four vehicles which Pakistanis put their everything into. Even the people at the ceremony kept quiet sheepishly rather to correct Mr. Prime Minister.
If you think Revo was a bad start to establish some Design and R&D base in Pakistan, just Google China’s First car or Japan’s first car.
Given how Pakistani start-up world is shaping up, I can safely say that Revo wasn’t our last hurrah! Picture abhi baaki hay… (probably)