Pakistani auto industry in the eyes of a schoolboy
Guest screenwriter: Zaim Butt
Zaim is an 8th grader and a car enthusiast. The young boy is passionate about cars and keeps abreast of the latest automotive trends. His dream car is the BMW i8 Roadster. Here are his thoughts on the Pakistani auto industry.
The car is an incredible find. In the past, people did not believe that such a machine could exist. Yet someone did, which shows the power of the human spirit. My books tell me that the very first car was made in 1886 by a German Carl Benz, called the Benz Patent Motor Car. This vehicle was powered by a gasoline engine and was the birth certificate of the automotive industry. In Pakistan, the first vehicle was manufactured in 1953 at the National Motors factory in Karachi.
Since then, the three market leaders of Pakistani automotive industry are Honda Atlas, Toyota Indus and Pak Suzuki. Currently, the Big Three have the highest market shares. According to the latest data from the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA), Suzuki has sold over 60% of total cars this year, followed by Toyota and Honda.
Personally, I am a Honda fan because of the fascinating range of its cars and the value of its brand. The Honda Civic is our family car, and it’s totally amazing.
I still think there should be competition in the market and a lot of variety for consumers. I think new car manufacturers entering the industry need some time to settle in. New manufacturers like KIA, Hyundai and MG are branding their capital, and soon they will be giving the three market leaders some hooligan time.
Electric vehicles in Pakistan
Then there are the electric cars. Electric vehicle (EV) technology has been introduced in many countries. Big names like Tesla are working there. Electric vehicles have entered the Pakistani market, but it will take decades to convert to electric cars.
Pakistan is on the list of the most polluted countries in the world, be it air, land or water. Electric vehicles can help us and our next generations to breathe clean air. The government of Pakistan and Prime Minister Imran Khan are working on it, but they should be more deliberate on the matter.
Car prices in Pakistan
The prices of cars and bicycles are rising shockingly day by day, which is not at all acceptable. As Chairman of PakWheels Mr Suneel Munj says that the 2021 budget only benefits the rich, not the poor, and I totally agree.
In Pakistan, 24.3% of the population lives below the national poverty line. The government should think about this issue and try to help and support the poor. They relaxed cars in the 2021-2022 budget and then shockingly increased gasoline prices. If a person buys a car, they need gasoline to drive it. Ultimately, he could face financial problems due to the very high oil prices. I think the government is playing with the citizens, but perhaps they will take good initiatives in the future.
I would like to end with a note that PakWheels is a great platform for young people and teens like me and millions of people who are interested in cars and bicycles. Thank you PakWheels for giving me this opportunity to share my perspective on Pakistani automotive industry.