Lucky Motor launches the first European car in Pakistan

KARACHI: Lucky Motor Company (LMC), which assembles Kia cars in Pakistan, has collaborated with Stellantis to launch Peugeot’s European automobile for the first time in the country.

The company would assemble the French Peugeot 1.2L Turbo 2008 Active and Allure, Rs 5.25 million and Rs 5.85 million respectively.

LMC CEO Asif Rizvi said the country has a demand for European cars. “Where do people prefer to go on vacation? he asked. “Most people want to go to Europe, not Japan, China and South Korea,” he said, expressing hope that people who have driven European cars would also buy vehicles from Pakistan.

LMC car division president Mohammad Faisal said people were driving imported European cars such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes, and “now they have a European car on their menu”.

Peugeot 2008 could affect Kia Sportage’s market share but, Rizvi added, “let them buy what they want, both are our cars”. Both were SUVs and catered to different types of consumer needs. Sportage is 2000cc and a bit bigger. It is a “C” class SUV while 2008 is a smaller “B” class SUV.

He admitted that the company was identifying segments that had not been established in the Pakistani automotive market. “If there are a lot of sedans, why will one more be brought to market? Why not find a segment that is not yet supported and the SUV segment has just been that” , Rizvi said.

The SUV has been the fastest growing segment in the world, and LMC has followed the same pattern.

According to a study conducted by another automaker in Pakistan, the SUV segment would have the largest share of the Pakistani auto market with 37% by 2030 ahead of hatchbacks and hatchbacks.

More than a dozen SUVs have been introduced in Pakistan as a result of the 2016-21 Automobile Policy, which provided tax incentives for new automakers such as Kia, Changan, MG and others to start operations and create more options for customers. These companies also broke the monopoly of Japanese automakers in the Pakistani auto industry.

Asked about localization, Rizvi said that Pakistan had inherent problems with its industries, which needed to be resolved before true localization could be achieved.

It was not possible to achieve localization if the government only paid lip service. The government should help industries such as steel and plastic raisins. “Currently, we only have one raw material, which is labour. If a localized auto part is labor intensive, then only its cost would be 15-20% localized. Otherwise, local plays only have 10-12% localization,” he explained.

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