Suzuki ready to in­vest $460m in Pak­istan

Pakistan Observer - - ECONOMY WATCH - STAFF RE­PORTER

ISLAMABAD—Suzuki plans to in­vest $460 mil­lion into Pak­istan if the gov­ern­ment pro­vides the right in­cen­tives and amends its new auto pol­icy, the com­pany said on Fri­day. Pak­istan in March an­nounced a new auto pol­icy that favours po­ten­tial new en­trants over ex­ist­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers by of­fer­ing them lower du­ties, part of a strat­egy to at­tract for­eign car­mak­ers and loosen the dom­i­nance of Suzuki, Toy­ota and Honda.

The Pak­istan Suzuki Mo­tor Com­pany, which as­sem­bles Suzuki cars for the lo­cal mar­ket, said it had con­cerns that the new auto pol­icy may “dam­age the tremen­dous in­vest­ment po­ten­tial in the Pak­istan au­to­mo­bile sec­tor by ex­ist­ing play­ers such as Pak Suzuki Mo­tor Co”. In an emailed state- ment to Reuters, Karachi-listed Pak­istan Suzuki said: “If the in­cen­tives and ben­e­fits should be given then we are ready for $460m in­vest­ment in Pak­istan.”

The in­vest­ment would in­clude cre­ation of a state-of-the-art new plant on an “ur­gent ba­sis” and from this plant Suzuki would in­tro­duce four new mod­els within five years, in­clud­ing two new mod­els by 2018. Plans to in­tro­duce new mod­els would go some way to­wards sooth­ing gov­ern­ment anger about lack of com­pe­ti­tion and choice in Pak­istan’s car mar­ket.

Of­fi­cials say they want for­eign car mak­ers to shake up the Ja­panese-dom­i­nated mar­ket be­cause lo­cally as­sem­bled cars are sold at rel­a­tively high prices but lag be­hind im­ported ve­hi­cles in terms of qual­ity and spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

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