Why Kawasaki Disappeared from Pakistan?

Kawasaki GTO 125

In the year 1982, Saif Nadeem Kawasaki Motors Limited was registered at Lahore Stock Exchange. For those of us not familiar with the SNK GTO motorbikes, I thought to write something in the remembrance of the Kawasaki bikes in Pakistan. The company’s first assembling plant was established at Sakkha Kot, Mardan in 1977, which was later shifted to Haripur.

In-house parts manufacturing started in 1983 and the motorbikes offered by the company gained 86% of the localization by 1987.

At the peak of Saif Nadeem Kawasaki Motors Limited, the company’s most famous bikes were GTO 100, 110, 125, and the good old’ Kawasaki 100 Sport.

It has been more than 23 years already since we last heard from Saif Nadeem Kawasaki. The 1993-94 were the last models, which came out of the factory. But the bikes they gave Pakistan were highly appreciated by the nation. Even today, people who are lucky to own these machines, really appreciate them for their performance and representation of a bygone golden era. I was lucky enough to drive a Kawasaki GTO 125 for a couple of years and I must say that it was old (rusty) looking thing, but the ride quality and its drive was superb. The best thing I liked about this motorbike was the security feature of its kick stand; just pressing the clutch once brought the stand upwards in a folding position, which meant no tucking it up manually and no risk of an accidental mishap on the roads. But this feature often yielded the clutch cable snapping issues in the Kawasaki GTO bikes.

As a Kawasaki enthusiast, I often wondered about the sudden disappearance of the brand from Pakistan. Initial rumors were all about the bikes being too fast for the Police to chase them. But let’s be honest. A 125 cc, 2-Stroke bike can only achieve so much with some modifications in its section plate and petrol flow increase from the carburetor. So I started digging for this info on various platforms. Surprisingly I found out that Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) delisted the Saif Nadeem Kawasaki Motors Limited (SNKA) on 2/6/2014. Followed by Lahore Stock Exchange (LSE), which exercised its powers vested under Section 9(4) of the securities and Exchange ordinance, 1969 and Listing Regulations of the Exchange; decided to delist Saif Nadeem Kawasaki Motors Limited from the Ready Board Quotation of the Exchange.

Don’t get me wrong, but this discovery of the company’s delisting made me even more curious, which eventually led me to discover that these ‘Delisting’ orders were the directives received from Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). Winding up petition Under Section 305 and 309, which were filed in 2003 in the Peshawar High Court Bench. Furthermore, two of the company’s directors were also convicted by National Accountability Beauru (NAB) on 15 February 2000, Under Section 31A of NAO with the allegations of wilful bank defaults. And then, there is the fact that banking tribunal ordered auction of the unit. According to my information, this auction was carried out thrice but the bid was not up to the mark.

All this attempt to dig out the information only spelled bad news for the Saif Nadeem Kawasaki. Nobody appreciates the bank and tax defaulters, but as an automobile enthusiast I often wonder about the ‘Kawasaki’ brand being reintroduced in Pakistan. After all, ‘Yamaha’ took a new leap by introducing YBR125, so what about the new and modern Kawasaki?

Do share your feedback on this little attempt to remember Kawasaki GTO by a fan!

We all make mistakes in life but I believe in learning from them and that is why I have opted to become an auto-journalist. I have a tech background but I prefer to write and express my views on cars because I am petrol head.

  • Guest

    Kawasaki was an enthusiast’s bike.
    Its fuel consumption was high.
    It was bigger (longer) than other bikes.

    Its competitor was Yamaha 2-stroke which wasn’t sporty from its looks neither by its ride. However Yamaha was cheaper on maintenance thus most commonly used by doodhwala’s as their loading gari. Kawasaki was never used as loading gari.

    Most of the Kawasaki owners then bought Honda CD-70 or CG-125 as they were 4-stroke, less noisy, fuel economical, and easier for the mechanics to understand.

    2 other problems with Kawasaki were:

    – Anybody riding a Kawasaki was a hot target for policemen. As you know policemen are always motorcyclists on one pretext or the other and end up taking 50 rupees or so (around 20 years ago their level was 5 and 10 rupees), it also added to the cost of ownership. The policemen knew that only an enthusiast will keep a Kawasaki hence their demands from Kawasaki riders were higher.

    – Kawasaki was difficult for our mechanics to understand. Remember Pakistan has low ratio of literacy and only that product will survive which mechanics with virtually no reading or writing capability can understand.

  • ASGHAR ALI KHAN

    no doubt its bad tag for saif nadeem kawasaki branch, but now new era and revolution of auto industry.
    i highly recommend that kawasaki branch open in pakistan , its best and best bike even now.
    i used it lot of times , very much better than honda and yamaha.

  • Tahir Usman

    Owned Ke-100 and Ke-175 trail bikes.Great machines!!Hope Kawasaki makes a comeback

  • Hassan Rao

    Hey!! Brother I don’t think you ever heard about Yamaha Rx115 hum?

  • Sultan Kiani

    I am NOT a biker but I do like good motorbikes and Kawasaki is one of them. I really appreciate your memory for remembring old skool GTO from 1980s but what about this thing? I spotted only 2 gt-70 and 1 125 in Islamabad but then it disappeared again. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f9568303d515c712e9bcca3d18da6a9ab3bc7fc423f3b587a1037558693fd13a.jpg

  • Abdul Hanan

    I didn’t mention SKM because I got no response from them. Plus the bikes which you posted above use (According to my knowledge) Chinese 4-Stroke engine mounted on Honda frames. I might add this isn’t Kawasaki that I knew and loved to drive. Kawasaki is famous to make ridiculous fast bikes and pioneering cutting edge shapes (Just look at their new H2R) in the world.
    To me this is just an attempt to bait people in with the Kawasaki name and sell them a bad product.

  • Sultan Kiani

    You’re right, but how they are allowed to use the word “Kawasaki”?

  • Abdul Hanan

    One possibility is that they might have registered “SKM Kawasaki” not Kawasaki, which means no ties with the Japanese firm whatsoever and were trying the same hook-line and sinker strategy.
    But then again its what I can think of right now. The company isn’t responding any queries, which might shed some light on what is actually going on…

  • Guest again

    Kawasaki has not disappeared from Pakistan. NLC has lots of new Kawasaki road rollers, motor graders, excavators, wheel loaders and other construction machinery which they use on their projects.

    Aisha steel mills also have Kawasaki machinery all over. But Aisha steel share price never rose above their offer price.

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