Auto Assemblers Prepare to Tap into Export Markets – Journal

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KARACHI: Motorcycle and rickshaw assemblers have been working to tap African markets in addition to aiming to increase their exports to Afghanistan after the business environment normalized after Kabul was taken over by the Taliban.

Rickshaw makers are trying to break the decades-old monopoly of Indian auto giant Bajaj in various countries, especially in African countries. The task is enormous, but they are optimistic about carving out a place for themselves in the years to come.

Sazgar Engineering Works Ltd (SEWL) Managing Director Mian Asad Hameed said Dawn from Lahore that after a successful trial of 50 units sent four months ago, the company will now export 170 more rickshaws to Ethiopia next month, which is an encouraging sign.

He said he also sent a technical team to Ethiopia to attract an Ethiopian counterpart to set up an assembly line there as part of a joint venture agreement.

“It is difficult to break the monopoly of an Indian auto giant that would sell 400,000 rickshaws worldwide each year, but my goal is to develop an export market by increasing the volume in the years to come. to various countries, “he observed.

SEWL has exported around 2,000 rickshaws to African countries and Afghanistan, including 200-300 to Japan in the past three years at a price of $ 1,500 each, he said, claiming that SEWL is the first company to ship the automobile to Japan.

He said Sudan is also emerging as a big export market for rickshaws. “The calm in Afghanistan after the reign of the Taliban could open up new export routes for rickshaw exports,” he hoped.

Mr Asad said Covid-19 has been an obstacle to sending local industry officials overseas to market Pakistani rickshaws to boost exports. The pandemic has also prevented foreign investors from traveling to Pakistan.

Watch the assembly of cars

SEWL will soon begin assembly of cars and SUVs. “Here we have a good chance of exporting them especially to Afghanistan and other regional markets and African countries,” he hoped.

Engineering Development Council Chairman Almas Hyder said the government is focusing on “Africa Appearance Policy” to boost automotive exports.

Massey Ferguson, the assembler of Millat tractors, has been exporting agricultural vehicles for 10 to 15 years and the number continues to grow. An official said the company exported 2,000 tractors in FY21 to Afghanistan, African countries, the Far East, Myanmar and Malaysia at a cost of $ 15,000 per 85-horsepower tractor. .

“We have set an export target of 4,000 tractors for FY22, as new markets are also explored, as well as high hopes of increasing tractor exports to Afghanistan and African countries,” a- he said, adding that some private parties after tractor lifting are also exporting in low volumes. .

Bicycle exports

Atlas Honda Limited (AHL) has been exporting motorcycles (70-125cc) for over 10 years to Afghanistan and other foreign destinations. An AHL official recalled that the company exported 20,000 units a few years ago, but the number has now dropped to 4,000 to 5,000 units per year. “We are now exploring African markets where heavy bikes are in high demand,” he said.

Japanese auto assemblers like Honda and Suzuki did not answer the question about how many vehicles they had exported in the past three to five years or before.

However, an executive from Indus Motor Company (IMC), the assembler of Toyota vehicles, said Dawn that the company exported 100 or 200 Toyota Corollas to Sri Lanka a few years ago. He did not, however, comment on why the Corolla could not be exported later.

Mehran Trade Manager Mashood Ali Khan said Africa’s total population is around 1.32 billion, or 16.72% of the world’s population, inhabiting 54 countries, suggesting huge potential for export, but trade volumes remained dismal due to the low level of engagement with Africa.

He said India and China have taken pride of place in African markets with their products as they have invested in assembly lines, supply chains and aftermarket distribution networks.

Mr Mashood said the relevant ministries are building relationships with other governments in Africa to link Pakistani products.

Posted in Dawn, le 22 August 2021


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