British brand expected to give Japanese makers competition
MG Motors has already booked 10,000 orders for its Rs5.5 million SUV MG-HS that has a 1.5 Turbo Charged engine.
“The demand is great for the British car,” said Javed Afridi, one of the key stakeholders in the joint venture between Pakistan’s JW-SEZ and Chinese giant SAIC, which now owns British MG Motors.
Auto analyst Shakaib Khan said that a 1.5 Turbo Charged engine is equivalent to a car with an engine size of 2400CC.
Afridi said that they have partnered to bring MG Motor cars because of the British heritage factor. “They also want to expand their global presence to Pakistan.”
“They are providing a sporty SUV with high-end technology that will transform the Pakistani auto market,” claimed Javed Afridi, who is well known as he is the owner Pakistan Super League’s most successful team, Peshawar Zalmi.
Afridi said that limited stock for MG-HS SUV is already available but a formal launch will take place in December.
The company will start local production by June 2021. In the first phase, they will launch three SUVs, the MG-HS, MG-ZS 1.5 and MG ZS EV, which is fully electric and has 44.5 KWH power.
The company will launch other models as well by early 2021, including sedans and hatchbacks.
He added that the company had a good experience after it launched commercial vehicles such as trucks under the banner JW-Forland.
According to research analyst Ahmed Lakhani, although the Japanese cars dominate the Pakistan market European cars have their own class appeal.
“It is not be surprising if the company books 10,000 orders for a European SUV that cost Rs5.5 million,” Lakhani said. “People are buying around 1000 units of Korean brands like Sportage and Tucson. It will not be surprising that they would be buying a British SUV at the similar price.”
MG Motors is among the car companies that have come to Pakistan after the government announced its Auto Development Policy 2016-21.
The policy will end in June 2021 and industry sources say car-making companies, called ‘new entrants’ since they came after the policy was announced, have been trying to launch the maximum number of models before the expiry.
By launching cars during this period, the companies will be able to get tax incentives for five years under the government’s scheme. The policy aims to boost the auto industry and encourage competition. Japanese Suzuki, Honda and Toyota were the dominant players before Kia, Hyundai, Changan and Nissan entered the market post-2016.