The State of Local Cars in Pakistan

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Have you ever wondered the amount of money we pay for buying a local manufactured car and what we get in return? Either it’s a Suzuki Mehran or a local made Toyota Hilux Vigo. I, along with many other authors have talked about the quality of Suzuki Mehran and the price tag we need to pay. We all know that all the local manufacturers are ripping us off.

By decreasing the age of the cars being imported, the government has given these manufacturers an upper hand as well. State should increase the age of the cars being imported, so that our local manufacturers learn a lesson and improve the quality of locally assembled cars. Local manufacturers are so lazy that instead of working harder to increase the quality, they beg the government to take back their decision or else they would start laying off their employees. Some of us are also under the impression that the government gets a fixed amount of money to decrease the age of imported cars. We do not know how much of that is true but you cannot rule out the possibility given the track record of our government.

It sometime seems that even the government does not want the citizens to roam around in reasonably priced better cars. To further prove this, they have increased the custom duties as well. Huge amounts of duty are to be paid if you want to import a car.

Given a choice, I would opt for an imported used car any day over a brand new locally made car. There is no comparison between the wuality of local and imported cars. The quality of imported cars stand out.

We citizens also need to change our mindsets. We tend to buy Mehran over Esse. Why? Just because Mehran has a better resale and parts are dirt cheap. That’s it. That’s the criteria of buying cars in Pakistan. Trust me Pakistan has a huge market for auto parts, all sorts of parts are available here in our local markets, though slightly expensive but not disposable like the ones you get for Mehran.

Once people start buying better imported cars for their money, spare parts will be readily available at competitive prices. Like you can buy almost every part of Toyota Vitz in the local market easily at competitive prices. Sometimes even cheaper than that of Suzuki Swift which is a direct competition of this car. The time has gone when the spare parts of Vitz were to be imported from Japan and then to be fixed. From the side mirrors to the bumpers, everything is easily available in the local auto parts markets.

Talk about local Toyota Corolla or Honda City over the Toyota Corolla Axio. Axio is one of my favorite sedans. It has a smooth drive with excellent road grip, beautiful interior, attractive exterior, stellar performance and mileage, and above that very good resale value. Above all, the car is better in terms of safety in almost a similar price bracket. What else do you want? Also if we talk about Toyota Premio in comparison to Honda Civic or Toyota Altis, the answer is in front of you. The class, performance and comfort Premio offers is far beyond what Civic and Altis offer.

All the readers who have a Vigo Champ, I know how you feel sometimes. It is under-powered and offers zero comfort and safety. Talking about my own experience, I recently had to travel in a Vigo Champ and it seemed as if I am travelling in a Dumper Truck, even a Corolla is more comfortable than it. A relative of mine recently wanted to purchase a new Hilux Vigo as he has frequent visits to Interior Sindh. He decided to purchase a Hilux Vigo Invincible (European Model) just because it is comfortable despite having leaf springs, and provides power and safety. It would not have cost much for Indus Motors to install coil springs or better leaf springs in the Vigo Champ. But God knows how much profits they need to make.

We Pakistanis need to stand up and take an action towards this as the current situation of our auto industry and auto policy is just depressing.

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  1. Taimur says

    FYI. Hilux invincible also has leaf springs in the back…

  2. Muhammad Laman Samo says

    It has leaf springs along with coil suspension.

  3. Saif says

    Good thoughts but have you thought about the effect of laxing imports would have on our current account deficit or the fact that lower volumes of cars sold would lead to lay off of many of the 200,000 directly employed people or the 1.2 million indirectly employed people the fact that the auto industry contributes 3-4% to your gdp and 16-17% lsm. The solution is not relaxing imports and further shoving us in a debt trap it’s about consistent government policies to allow foreign investments the fact that pakistan has one of the most inconsistent auto plans is the biggest reason more companies don’t want to open plants and secondly is low volume. Govt should shy away from the PAMA lobbyists and make policies to expand local auto industry by allowing new entrants and not destroy us further by increasing our current account deficit.

  4. Adeel says

    In addition to Saif’s comments, which i’d completely agree too. Great thoughts but the reason is not just govt. role in motor industry, its the role govt. play in every aspect, in every industry as you have already mentioned in your blog. The whole system needs to be changed, in a good way.

  5. Muhammad Bilal Arif says

    Dear writer, you must have been hit in the head while in infancy, to compare the comfort of corolla, a sedan, to a 4×4 truck (not even an SUV) and on top of that expect it to be more comfortable… There goes your knowledge, down the drain.

  6. Muhammad Laman Samo says

    The article is written from one side of view, obviously if we would have been considering the other half, unemployment and balance of trade deficit would have been counted.

  7. Muhammad Laman Samo says

    Learn to respect..

  8. Shahmir says

    Good article. A small request. Ada kindly refrain using word interior Sindh. You can take name of district if you are not comfortable with village name of ur relative.

  9. Muhammad Bilal Arif says

    Well you need to change your backward thinking about SUVs being superior to sedans. I am pretty sure you are one of the 80% of Hilux Vigo owners, who use it as a daily family car!

  10. Ahsan says

    Suggestion for you. When you are about to post a comment, imagine saying it face to face and if you feel comfortable, only then post it.

    What you are saying might be correct, but at least have some decency to disagree respectfully.

  11. Umer Ahmed says

    100% agree with this post

  12. Moeed says

    Our car manufacturers do not respect their audiences and its shameful of them. We can just stop buying these cheaply build cars to teach them a lesson

  13. Moeed says

    we do not want imported cars but locally manufactured cars with good quality, comfort and milage.

  14. Ali Mehdi says

    thanks man, appreciate the work you and other guys at pakwheels are doin.

  15. HK says

    Instead of bashing the local manufacturers, bash the government policies that does not allow a level playing field for investors in Pakistan. Our neighbor is sixth in world in terms of passenger and commercial vehicle manufacturing. Even brands like Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Rolls Royce are imported as CBUs in India… We should learn something from this and devise a fair play policy to eridicate the monopoly.

  16. Ali RaZa Chang says

    hahahahahahahhahahahahaha ………. Bro the in 2008 #PAKSUZUKI gave scheme of Cultus for it’s Employees and the total price of that was 2.5 lac , each month 1500 from their salary were being deducted you can do the maths on how much they earn profit on it ….. 2ndly , you are an BLOGGER don’t go like MY PERSONAL OPINIONS …… be like ….. STATISTICS and RESULTS ….. for suppose ….. Local Vigo vs Imported Vigo ….. let’s take example of 2010 flood ….. the Thai version failed …. it’s E.C.U was short-circuited while Pakistani Vigo was able to go in water over it’s hood …. 😛 ….. don’t be like comfort level and things …. there are PROS and CONS …. if you talk about ALTIS , AXIO , CITY , PREMIO & CIVIC ….. 1stly …. Axio is lower grade of #COROLLA in Japan , that’s another case that we are paying double for less options and features for shitty corolla ….. the thing is TAXES and JAPS have now known how to earn paper from PAKISTANI people ….. the very inside Story of INDUS and PakSuzuki ,,,,, your MEHRAN is being 80% developed by LOCAL VENDORS 😛 LOL only GEAR_Train cover and Engine block is being imported 😛 ….. your corolla is being shitted by it’s new model as it comes as EX-Corolla …. the parts get pre-designed by Vendor , and those shitty quality parts are being used ….. while only #HONDA is keeping ….. HIGH PRICE for Better QUALITY ……

  17. Awais Yousaf says

    Totally Agreed with the writer.
    I own a Axio fielder and a vitz.
    Axio drives far more better than our locally assembled civic and rollas. Even the performance is better in the 1.5 as compared to 1.8 of local cars and most of all the 2008 version has more features then any local car available in Pakistan .
    Vitz on the other hand itself is best in the segment with great features at a low price.

  18. Awais Yousaf says

    Axio is not the lower grade of Corolla! Its just that Japan has axio E160 instead of the E170 available in Pakistan and around the world. The differce being that Axio is smaller and narrower to suite the Japanese market. Where as its starting price is lower then Corollas available internationally! That doesnt make it a lower grade corolla! One more thing to keep in mind that a fully loaded Axio is far more superior than any Corolla.

  19. Hafeez Ahmad says

    Nice post l like your post.

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