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Porsche Taycan at the centre of a controversy in Pakistan

Porsche has stopped the supply, local partner claims

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 12, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 weeks ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Feb 12, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 weeks ago
Porsche Taycan at the centre of a controversy in Pakistan

Photo: Porsche

Porsche Pakistan has not been receiving the supply of the Taycan all-electric cars from its Middle East-based parent company, its owner claims, who himself has been facing several FIRs in Pakistan.

Porsche Pakistan owner Syed Abuzar Bokhari is facing multiple FIRs for allegedly embezzling Rs50 million. But Bokhari says he hasn’t embezzled anything and all finances are on the company books.

They haven’t been supplied the cars they booked for Pakistan customers from their parent company in Dubai – Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE.

The owner of Performance Automotive (Porsche Pakistan) is accused of setting up a centre under the name “Performance Limited” and receiving tens of millions of rupees for booking Porsche vehicles before closing down the business, The News reported. At least seven different cases have been registered against Bokhari, according to the Lahore police.

But Porsche Pakistan, registered in Pakistan as Performance Automotive, accuses Porsche Middle East of making it spend money to train employees and prepare infrastructure for its all-electric car Taycan and later not supplying against the standard procedure.

The company says it took money from its customers on behalf of the Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE, with the expectation that the cars will be delivered. It says it spent on marketing and prepared ahead of the car launch in Pakistan as asked by Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE.

Porsche Pakistan had also taken the Hashoo Group – the parent company of Marriott and Pearl Continental hotels – on board to establish car chargers there.

The rift started between the two subsidiaries of Porsche AG Germany when Porsche Pakistan was unable to send money owed to Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE due to new regulations of the State Bank. In a document seen by SAMAA Money, Porsche Pakistan stated that its request to send money abroad was rejected by the State Bank.

“But the amount was not that big,” said Talha Baig, Porsche Pakistan’s head of finance. “It was around $200,000. We told them it will be paid. We have done millions of dollars business in the past with them.”

Porsche Pakistan has four facilities – one each in Karachi and Islamabad and two in Lahore. Many employees have been sent on unpaid leave as it was not being supplied the cars and a major revenue stream was disrupted.

In 2020, the company was served with a one-year notice from Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE and the latter stopped providing cars.      

Bokhari says that they have challenged the Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE in the International Court of Arbitration in London, where he is actually fighting the case.

“The Taycan has immense potential,” Baig said. He said the dealership has been dismantled for the last one year and despite that 15 Taycan cars have been imported by Pakistanis during the last year in their personal capacity.

The official says that direct imports from the UK make the car expensive by at least Rs10 million. The company was taking orders for Rs25 million to Rs30 million. Those who acquired it privately paid around Rs40 million.

Bokhari says he can’t pay back the money from his own pockets since he won’t have anything to show to the International Court of Arbitration that his clientele was suffering.

He said the case in London would be resolved soon. Cases have also been filed against the parent company in Pakistan courts, he added.

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