The number of motorcycles, being exported from Pakistan, has come down from 6,000 units per month to 2,000 units. Pakistan has already lost Sri Lanka and Bangladesh markets and is now just exporting to Afghanistan, according to sources. PHOTO: FILE/AFP
KARACHI: Motorcycle manufacturers from China and India, supported by latest models and their vast range, have wiped Pakistan off the regional export market, industry sources say.
The number of motorcycles, being exported from Pakistan, has come down from 6,000 units per month to 2,000 units. Pakistan has already lost Sri Lanka and Bangladesh markets and is now just exporting to Afghanistan, according to sources.
They said the domestic motorcycle industry was facing challenges of cost and modern design. Most of the motorcycles produced were of similar designs for 70cc, 100cc and 125cc engine capacities.
Though the motorcycles, produced with the help of Chinese technology, were made affordable for many consumers, the industry failed to introduce modern designs. The increasing cost of production was also a serious problem.
Sources said Pakistan started motorcycle exports about two and a half years ago when the Competitiveness Support Fund offered a rebate of $50 per unit. Despite competing well with China and India in terms of cost, the industry could not keep pace with them in design and range. In addition to this, the rebate facility also came to an end later.
India and China are introducing a large range of motorcycles with modern designs in regional markets at prices as low as $320 to $350.
The demand of motorcycles is increasing in Afghanistan and Afghan importers prefer to buy from Pakistan because of easy availability of spare parts and low freight charges due to proximity. However, “Pakistan is losing ground here too after the end of rebate facility,” an industry source said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2011.