The other day, a friend gave me a call very early in the morning, around 10.30am and said that he wants me to accompany him to FAW sargodha motors showroom for their first free service/checkup campaign. 1 hour later we were there. A pretty decent facility for a growing brand name. This FAW dealership used to be a workshop but just a few months ago, the owners decided to buy dealership of FAW motor company (A Chinese brand, pronounced EFF AAYY DOuble you). Now, the dealership is operational for the past 4-6 months and they are exceeding their target sales every month. The target is small, only 5 vehicles per month but its good enough for a new entrant in the industry.
The commercial vehicles, though designed in China, are assembled in Karachi, Pakistan. Currently, only two type of vehicles are available. A light duty pickup and a small van. Both are larger then their rivals (Suzuki Ravi and Bolan) and have 1000cc EFI engines. The quality of the vehicles is, well, lets be kind, lets say not good. But still better then that of their rivals. Much better infact. They also have a few more features like MP3 player, projector headlamps etc etc. No A/C though. 1000cc and fairly spacious cabin. I sat in the driving seat of both, didnt feel like i ll be thrown out if i braked a bit hard while driving.
About the campaign, well, all the customers were called in. A few showed up, 5 or 6 i guess. There were some Chinese engineers there too and they were supervising the inspection work being done on the car. Food was also served and there was a projector on which they were displaying promotional videos of the company. From what i have been told, i can safely say that FAW is one of the top 4 automobile manufacturers of China. I think the Chinese govt also has some stake in the company. Their line up is huge, from light duty vans to 22 wheeler trailers. Infact, FAW pakistan is going to launch another FAW vehicle in direct competition to Toyota Avanza.
Pix coming in next post...