Renault Trucks ventures into Pakistan, anticipates higher demand from CPEC

KARACHI  : Renault Trucks, in partnership with Ghandhara Nissan Limited (GNL), introduced the full range of its vehicles to Pakistan’s market, keeping in view the demand coming from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

In a notice to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), the general manager of Ghandhara Nissan said the company is going to import three new ranges of the truck by the end of 2019

The company is going to target oil marketing companies and other logistic businesses, which require high horsepower trucks. Initially, they will target selling 20-40 trucks, which can bear a load of 50 to 70 tonnes, depending on the horsepower of the truck, said an official from Ghandhara Nissan.

Pakistan assembles 650-700 trucks every month, while its neighbouring country, India, makes 70,000 trucks, which is 100 times higher.

However, due to CPEC, the demand will increase, said Aamir Allawala of the Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM).

Recently Hyundai and Isuzu Motors also launched their trucks, to which Allawala said, “The future of the truck industry is bright.” Pakistan’s truck industry has been growing at a fast pace, after the government shifted its gears.

In 2011, Pakistan’s total truck market was served 70% by used trucks and only 30% by locally assembled trucks. After the government introduced new measures in favour of local assemblers, the equation has turned completely and now 100% trucks are new – either locally assembled or imported, he said.

“With our new range launched in 2013, we have deployed significant resources to ensure these vehicles deliver maximum reliability for long routes of CPEC,” said Renault Trucks International Senior Vice President Olivier De Saint Meleuc, while speaking at the launch ceremony of the truck.

The company is creating a demand for new technology after the National Highway Authority crackdown on overloading. The demand for safety comes from oil marketing companies after the Ahmedpur Sharqia incident, in which more than 130 people died.

The company will be responsible for import, distribution and after-sales service of the three new ranges. It is going to start local assembly of completely knocked down (CKD) units by 2019 at its manufacturing site, situated at Port Qasim, Karachi. Currently, all vehicles are being imported in built-up condition from Lyon, France.

NLC, Daimler AG sign MOU for local production of Mercedes Benz Trucks

National Logistics Cell (NLC) has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Daimler AG for local production of world renowned Mercedes-Benz trucks by NLC in Pakistan. Local assembly of Mercedes-Benz trucks by NLC will mark a major shift in the domestic logistics and transportation industry towards European manufacturers who offer technologically advanced products that combine superior performance, environment friendliness, reliability and road safety.

DG NLC Major General Mushtaq Faisal, CEO Pak NLC Motors Zia Ahmed and Head of Executive Committee Klaus Fischinger and Head of Sales Dr Ralf Forcher signed the documents on behalf of their respective organizations.

Speaking on the occasion, Major General Faisal termed the MOU as an historic moment for Pakistan’s commercial vehicle industry. He said that local assembly of Mercedes- Benz trucks by NLC would prove a strategic opportunity to leverage the modernization of Pakistan’s logistics industry which would benefit tremendously from having a state-of-the-art assembly plant in Pakistan being setup by NLC. Because of the incentives given in Auto Development Policy 2016-21, local assembled Mercedes- Benz trucks would be offered on competitive prices.

DG NLC said that local assembly of Mercedes-Benz trucks will ensure a healthy competition in the trucking industry of the country and meet the logistics requirements of CPEC. He added that it will bring qualitative change in local vendor industry and will provide opportunities for new jobs.

Dr. Ralf Forcher, Member of Executive Committee and Head of Sales and Marketing, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks said “Pakistan’s infrastructure and construction sectors have registered significant growth in recent years having a direct effect on the logistics industry as it gives rise to an increased demand for commercial vehicles.

By commencing local assembly operations of Mercedes-Benz trucks in Pakistan, NLC will be able to cater for this demand more efficiently and respond to market trends quickly”. It is pertinent to mention that strong growth in Pakistan’s GDP has contributed towards a significant boost in rising demand for commercial vehicles.

In addition, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project is also playing an important role in raising demand in this sector.

Modern transportation networks built under CPEC will link seaports in Gwadar and Karachi with northern Pakistan, as well as points further north in China and Central Asia.
Director and General Manager Shahnawaz Ltd Naseem Shaikh and Ahmed Naeem of Shahnawaz Ltd were also present at signing ceremony, The Shahnawaz Ltd is the Authorized Distributor of Daimler AG in Pakistan, who have been instrumental and played a key role in bringing together the two partners for this project of national importance.

PM Abbasi welcomes Volkswagen’s entry in Pakistan

KARACHI: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has welcomed on Wednesday Volkswagen’s decision to invest and undertake business ventures in Pakistan, assuring the world’s largest automaker of complete facilitation and support from the government.

Talking to Volkswagen Board of Management member Joseph Baumert, who met him at the PM Office, Abbasi highlighted strengths of Pakistan’s economy and credited investor-friendly policies for an “economic turnaround” in the last four years.

Abbasi said that both local and foreign investors had huge incentives to invest and reap benefits from a fast-growing economy as a result of the improved security situation.

The auto sector development also comes as a huge relief for a hungry Pakistani market long dominated by three Japanese players who face continuous capacity constraints. With the government recently imposing further regulatory duty on the import of new and used vehicles, the stage seems set for new entrants.

In the past year, Lucky has announced a joint venture with Kia Motors, while Hyundai Motor Company also plans to set up a car assembly plant with textile group Nishat Mills.

Meanwhile, Abbasi said that due to improved and enhanced road networks as a result of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and greater spending on communication infrastructure, Pakistan offers great opportunities to international automobile companies to fill in the existing demand-supply gap through local production.

The premier also highlighted various features of the Auto Policy 2016-2021 which offers tax and other incentives to new entrants to enable introduction of new brands, develop market share, create distribution and after-sales service networks besides a parts-manufacturing base.

Abbasi expressed hope that Volkswagen would provide quality vehicles of international standards.

Baumert also expressed hope for a successful business venture in Pakistan. Other officials including Volkswagen’s head of overseas production Andreas Sprindler, head of Asia Pacific, Oliver Glaser, International Policy Foreign and Governmental Relations Klaus – Bo Steindorff and head of CKD Yuri Konushin, Premier Systems CEO Syed Arshad and Board of Investment secretary were present.

Belt and Road Initiative takes auto industry globally

Industry insiders have hailed China’s supportive policies as the backbone of expanding international automobile partnerships linked to the Belt and Road Initiative.

Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association, said China’s automobile manufacturing industry is accelerating its progress in “going global”.

“Within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese automakers will have wider scope and emboldened vision. As a result, they are forming overseas partnerships and establishing joint manufacturing plants, in addition to international trade in completed cars,” said Cui.

He said the initiative has created a favorable political environment and business opportunities for Chinese carmakers’ development. He added companies should work together systematically, going global in clusters.

Xu Haidong, an assistant to the secretary-general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said that, “Chinese carmakers could join together in negotiating with local auto dealers to ensure their voice is heard, in case the dealers have stronger influence in the market.”

Xu added Chinese carmakers have embraced the concept of selling brands and services, upgrading from the earlier idea of simply selling cars.

Last month, Egypt-based Holding Company for Maritime and Land Transport announced it is sealing a deal with Chinese partners to produce 900 vehicles a month, leveraging the automakers’ experience in assembling and machinery.

Its next step is to secure agreements on tractors and bulldozers with Chinese partners in 2018.

After acquiring a 49.9 percent stake in Malaysia-based Proton Holding and 51 percent of British sports car brand Lotus this year, chairman of the board of Zhejiang Geely Holding Li Shufu attributed the achievements to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Yu Ning, senior consultant to Geely Holding, said: “The Proton deal was reached in the environment characterized by the nation’s Belt and Road Initiative. Initiatives at the country level have played a critical role.”

Sources familiar with the matter said that without the country’s policy-based support, Geely would not have beaten two rival European auto giants in bidding for Proton and Lotus.

“The partnership between the automakers is also about the Sino-Malaysian relationship. It is Chinese Geely who willingly took on the responsibility of reviving Malaysian auto manufacturing, instead of taking Lotus only,” according to the sources.

Learning curve

Experts said that Chinese carmakers’ relatively low costs are their major advantage in better meeting local demands in Asia, Africa, Latin America and other developing regions, but shortcomings remain in terms of effective localization.

Cui at the China Passenger Car Association said: “Chinese products still lag behind those of mature automakers for two reasons: the overall standards of our manufacturing industry and a lack of local insight.

“China-made products might suit the domestic situation well, but can fail amid local challenges in other countries, resulting in negative word-of-mouth reputations in those markets.”

Japanese and South Korean players adjust their products in accordance with the destination markets, launching local editions in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, for example.

Bai Ming, an official at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce, also said that Chinese carmakers suffer from not fitting into local markets well.

“Usually it is not a matter of quality products, but the unfulfilled need for after sales services,” he continued.

Bai advised: “Carmakers should pay attention to establishing value chains, especially connecting with partners on the supply and service side.”

Both Bai and Cui said they viewed the development of a strong service network as much more important than sales, as service offerings decide a carmaker’s long-term sustainability in an overseas market.

The experts suggested auto financing as a suitable business that is complementary to overseas services, since the sector has remained underdeveloped among Chinese companies for a long period of time.

State-owned FAW Group established its investment arm, FAW International Investment Co on Sept 24, aiming to support and consolidate its auto services in countries and regions along the Belt and Road.

A week later, Geely Holding announced it will increase its stake in Denmark’s Saxo Bank to 51.5 percent. The deal is seen as highlighting the carmaker’s drive to tap the expertise of European financial firms, although the transaction awaits regulatory approvals.

Geely powers turnaround at Proton

Zhejiang Geely Holding’s recent acquisition of Proton has spurred a turnaround at the Malaysian automaker, according to company executives. They said the rejuvenation plans were part of the auto family’s pursuit of a greater global presence. “The Malaysian brand will be positioned as a regional brand, targeting the South-East Asian markets with products developed on Geely’s platforms,” Li Chunrong, newly appointed CEO of Proton Holdings, said in Shah Alam, Malaysia via a video news conference.

Chairman of Proton Holding Syed Faisal Albar bin Syed AR Albar said: “The key to success is product and the other important factors are quality and brand. “We are in a positive and strategic partnership, with technologies being shared between each other. We are confident in Geely to deliver not only existing models, but also new products.”

Proton board members also hailed the revitalization of the Malaysian brand. They added the next product will be derived from the Geely Emgrand Boyue SUV model in the local market’s mid-size segment, which is equivalent to China’s compact segment.

The Malaysia-based carmaker will also launch another four models with the latest technologies in the near future, bringing its offering to a total of five products. Feng Qingfeng, chief technology officer of Geely, said: “Proton’s future products will be developed on Geely’s latest 3.0 platforms, including the first product to also be based on the 3.0 generation of the Emgrand Boyue.” Geely completed the transaction to purchase a majority stake in the British luxury sports brand Lotus on the same day as the Proton deal.

The Chinese motoring group now owns a majority stake of 51 percent in Lotus Advanced Technologies, with a minority 49 percent being held by Etika Automotive, a Malaysian group.

Lotus will be Geely’s Porsche equivalent, while the Proton brand is similar to Skoda in the Volkswagen family, according to Li Donghui, chairman of Lotus. Li is also a board member of Proton and executive vice-president of Geely.

He said Geely will help Lotus research and develop the next generation of volume products, to “bring the splendid sports gene into full play”.

The group’s Chinese board members confirmed that Lotus will follow Geely’s pursuit of electrification and intelligent technology, but the platform on which future products will be based remains to be settled. Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales said earlier that the company will accelerate its R&D efforts in the SUV sector. The company hopes to launch models in the market in 2020, 14 years after the APX Concept SUV debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 2006. Lotus is shipping three British-made sports car series-the Exige, Evora, and Elise-to the Chinese market.

Geely Holding reported revenue of more than $30 billion for 2016 and produced 778,896 cars that year.

Auto sector set to make big gains from CPEC

LAHORE: The demand for four-wheel vehicles will rise from 0.25 million to 0.5 million in Pakistan within the next 12 years, according to a report by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda).

The report, which was sent to Smeda CEO Sher Ayub, said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will bring a lot of opportunities for the auto sector. This in turn will benefit the transport warehousing and freight forwarding services by further expanding the auto and logistics sector.

The report said that auto is one of the fastest growing sectors in Pakistan and Japan is concentrating on collaboration to meet the augmenting demand of four-wheel vehicles in the country.

In this regard, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Director South Asia Naoyuki Nemoto visited Smeda-Sindh’s provincial office to explore new opportunities of assistance.

The report highlighted that with the changing trend of consumerism in the country, demand for agro-processing products was also increasing rapidly, adding that the requirements for processed and packaged semi-cooked food items, fruits and vegetables has also highly increased.

This meant improvement in quality for exploring international markets, the report mentioned.

The findings identified engineering sector particularly auto, logistics and agro-processing industry as high potential areas for collaboration between Pakistan and Japan.

Smeda CEO has assured to undertake special initiatives for making the local SMEs aware of the new joint venture opportunities emerging under CPEC.

CPECB has become medium to connect Chinese Businessman

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China Pakistan Economic Corridor Businessman network has earned the title of honored and respected businessman network which has become a major medium to connect Chinese businessman with Pakistani businessman and all other belt and road member countries businessman directly.CPECB is maintaining its policy and services very strictly which allow the only businessman to become a member and building strong networking with other members in a note of business deals.

CPECB has offered multiple privacy to its members to ensure only active businessman who is importer, exporter, industrialist or services provider can interact with the clean and respected network to establish serious business relations.

As CPEC is getting in action where lots of businessmen looking for medium to connect with Chinese, Pakistani and another belt and road member countries like


CPECB.COM is active and in action which will enhance Pakistan export, trade, service, construction, agriculture, automobile, Technology, human resources and all the industry which are active in Pakistan or planning for new incorporation through CPECB.COM because non Pakistani who are interested can reach all sector companies owners in one place and get facilitate to establish business by developing relations and that what is offering.

If you are also looking to interact with above region members then you can apply for membership. For reference, you can visit


Pakistan starts assembling Chinese passenger car

KARACHI: The first Chinese passenger car is now being produced in Pakistan, a market that is currently dominated by three Japanese carmakers.

The company has recently invested Rs1.3 billion to improve its assembly plant, which is other than its initial investment of Rs2.5 billion.

 Al-Haj Faw Motors (Private) Limited, a collaboration between Faw China and a commercial importer of heavy vehicles Al-Haj Motors, has started assembling Faw V2, a 1,300cc hatchback, at its assembly plant in Karachi.

The company was importing Completely Built Units (CBU) of V2 for the last two years to see market response. Now that it is satisfied with the response, it has decided to produce the car locally to compete with well-established Japanese brands.

“We want to become the export base of Faw for export of cars to Southeast Asia and African markets,” Al-Haj Faw Motors Managing Director Bilal Afridi said on Saturday at a ceremony organised at the company plant.

The company initially targets to produce 300 units of V2 per month and then increase the production level to 500 units by the end of 2017. Currently, the company has over 600 workers and its annual capacity is 10,000 units (single shift) that will be increased to 15,000 units by 2020.

The company has recently invested Rs1.3 billion to improve the assembly plant, apart from its initial investment of Rs2.5 billion in the company.

The current price of Faw V2 is Rs1.069 million Company officials say they have only increased the price by Rs20,000 in over two years to make it an attractive product and compete well with the Japanese competitors.

Its Japanese competitor Pak Suzuki’s Swift, another hatchback with a 1,300cc engine, is available for Rs1.327 million (prices of its automatic variants go up to Rs1.511 million).

“I think they (Al-Haj Faw Motors) are maintaining a very good quality, something they should do because they have to compete with Japanese brands,” Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (Paapam) Chairman Mashood Ali Khan told The Express Tribune while inspecting a Faw V2 on the assembly line.

Company officials say they wanted to produce Chinese passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) locally for a long time, but delay on the part of the government (from 2013 to 2016) in announcing a new auto policy interrupted the planned investments.

Al-Haj Faw Motors has been assembling trucks since October 2011 while its plant is also capable of producing LCVs and passenger cars.

The Al-Haj Group has been present in Pakistan since 1960 when it started trading in different products like tyres, textiles and electronic goods.

The group, in May 2017, launched a separate company, Al-Haj Hyundai (Pvt) Limited, which will invest about Rs4 billion in producing Hyundai trucks and buses in Pakistan.

Chinese vehicles, led by Faw, are gradually getting a good response from the market, which has historically been dominated by Japanese companies.

Chinese brands have faced difficulty in the presence of Japanese and Korean companies that have enjoyed production facilities in Pakistan. However, the situation is going to change with the first locally produced Chinese car in the market.

Although Faw V2 has a distinct customer base, some analysts say it could take the market share of used cars that have caught the attention of Pakistanis for over a decade and a half. Pakistan currently imports over 45,000 used cars annually.

Analysts say growing middle class, better macroeconomic indicators and easily available car financing are some of the top reasons why car sales are continuously growing in Pakistan.

After over seven years of slowdown in the automobile industry, the country is once again producing over 250,000 units of LCVs, jeeps and cars annually.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2017.