“The New Toys on the Road”

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In examining the economic environment of today it comes as a surprise to see the fleet of luxury cars flaunting the streets of Karachi & other metros of Pakistan. Pakistan is currently confronted with its greatest economic struggle with every aspect of the economy heading for an all time low. However in the midst of such testing times the phenomena of imported luxury cars is at its peak.

One glance at the road and you can feast your eyes upon the finest automobile offerings from international giants such as Mercedes Benz, BMW, Range rover, Bentley & others. Observing these cars on the road is a treat to watch but it seems astonishing to imagine that obtaining these cars is as easy as driving them.  Currently the automobile scene in Pakistan is dominated by an influx of imported cars which offer greater value for money in comparison to locally assembled automobiles. According to industry statistics every 26 out of every 100 new cars on the roads are imports, signifying the ground they have covered by now. Although, sales of locally assembled cars have improved but car imports have seen an overwhelming increase. 55,000 cars had been imported in 2012 compared to only 21,000 car imported in 2011, an increase of 162% has been noted. This wave has gained significant momentum largely due to favourable policy measures. Keeping in mind the presence of the elite lobbyist in midst of the government you can always expect something fishy. In this case luxury car owners enjoy substantial advantage in terms of duties & taxes. Luxury car users import vehicles under the personal baggage and gift schemes, which have apparently no traces of legal remittances.

Luxury Cars in Pakistan
Luxury Cars in Pakistan

The importers of these vehicles use passports of overseas Pakistanis in an illegal manner as approximately 60,000 units of passenger cars’ were imported in the last fiscal year, with approximately 98 percent vehicles from Japan alone. As per official Japanese government estimates, around 10,000 Pakistanis are living in Japan’s different cities that can officially send used cars back home under the gift or personal baggage schemes. Sources in the industry said that an alarming number of money transactions are being done through hundi, hawala and other illegal channels, causing loss of millions of dollars to the national exchequer. Furthermore these vehicles exert great pressure on the balance of payment intensifying an already elevated deficit.

These vehicles may shine on our roads but in truth to a greater extend they signify an escalating inequality gap & are doing more harm than good. The government must take prudent steps in order to protect a fragile domestic auto sector as well as save the national wealth.


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  1. Ibrahim Ahmed Khan says

    The domestic automobile sector has nothing new to offer. The local assemblers should rise up to the challenge and not pay chunks of money under the hood to keep their shoes shining. Imported cars are great more worth the money than local assemblers. Three main local assemblers with 20 year old model line ups what do you expect.

  2. Muhammed Ahmed Shoaib says

    Well written

  3. Faisal Zaidi says

    brahim Ahmed Khan: You are absolute right. The domestic industry hardly has to offer anything but we must be aware of all the facts. Imported cars do give a challenge to the local assemblers but they are damaging the economy as well.

  4. Usman Khan says

    faisal bhai if these imported cars are damaging the economy then why our govt and local car manufacturers didn't take any step like minimizing the cost and chaging the models which are more economical and more comfoortable than they are now to accomodate general public?

  5. Ibrahim Ahmed Khan says

    Mr Zaidi the dent to the economy that these cars are making is like salt in wheat. The real damage is being done within the country by not paying taxes etc etc. Iam all in for imported cars not only from Japan or other countries but automobile trade from INDIA should be allowed.

  6. Faisal Zaidi says

    I absolutely agree with you. My point was to present both sides of the coin. These imported cars offer great value for money but we must remember that are automobile industry has still not matured. It needs support via progressive policy measures.We must also remember that local assembled cars need imported spare parts to assemble. Pakistan's unfavorable exchange rate further adds to the cost .

  7. Faisal Zaidi says

    I may not share your enthusiasm for imported cars but i fully agree with you regarding the menace of tax evasion.Most luxury cars are imported with minimum duty due to political influences robbing the country from valuable financial gain.

  8. Abdul Razzak says


  9. Saad Khan Kakerzai says

    Local automobile industry will remain infant for the next 50 years. Government must release the bans and must allow to import more than 5 year older vehicles from japan. They are very much affordable and the options they have like air bags they are not even in the local Toyota corolla or Civic. Mehran price is around 6 to 7 lacs and what we gets in this huge amount? only the steering wheel, an uncomfortable seats and 25 years old shape. Is this our local industry? and our blind government is imposing bans on imports to save this?

  10. Faisal Zaidi says

    The local industry must improve its quality but it still needs protection. It gives employment to millions of people & shutting it down or downsizing it could lead to dire consequences.

  11. Muhammed Ahmed Shoaib says

    I think it would be in Pakistan's benefit if instead of importing cars we imported car manufacturers.

  12. Abdur Rafay says

    I think the gallardo is fake…it looks like a body kit because its too narrow.

  13. Czar Fahad says

    the writer is an idiot and obviously has never been outside Pakistan. Pakistanis see a couple of imported cars and think wow Pakistan is rich we have so much money, idiots.

  14. Czar Fahad says

    typical closed Pakistani mentality; cant compete so regulate

  15. Usman Ghani says

    lahore cant…………..

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