Importing a car to Pakistan

As expected, the automobile mafia industry of Pakistan is speaking against the recent attempt of the government to allow import of 5 year old cars (as reported by CarAdvice.pk here).

Toyota Vitz Imported

The Pakistan Automobile Manufacturers Association  (PAMA) has a spokesman, surprise surprise, who says that the import of 5 year old cars would make Pakistan…wait for it...a dumping ground for the global market. They would throw away their 5 year old Accords, Mercedes and Audis into Pakistan, what a shame!

In a recent article I read somewhere in the back pages of The News (Lahore section), the association has expressed dismay that the facility for allow 5 year old cars would retard the gradual growth the Pakistani auto sector has witnessed. Yes, the growth was because the import of cars was not allowed. That, my friends, is called a monopoly. Also note, that to revive economies, governments do sometimes ban imports, as they should. My only problem is that given the chance, this PAMA did not capitalize on the opportunity to give us, the consumers, better cars. They simply started increasing prices, along with ‘owns’, till their pockets exploded. They had a long-enough chance to correct this, but greed is greed is greed.

For example, in 2007, you could get a 2002 Honda Accord for less than the price of a new Honda City. Yes, a face-turning luxury sedan, all 1.8 liters of it, for less than the price of a brand new 1.3 liter engine car. The Accord was 5 years old, but you couldn’t tell it from the drive, or the look. The concept of 5 year old cars being ‘clunkers’ don’t apply if you are careful in your car selection. The cars they make now can easily face 5 years of normal ware and tare.

By the way, the only imported car that has done truly well in Pakistan is the Toyota Vitz. You know why? Because Indus Motors (God bless their souls) made car parts of the Vitz available in market. That is what needs to be done for other ‘economy’ cars, as well as a select luxury sedans, and this should give enough competition to our auto industry to get their act together.

The Bahria Town car crash

Car Racing Accident at Bahria

Car Racing at Bahria Town is not something new

On Sunday, 5th December 2010, 5 spectators died when a racing car skidded off from the road and onto the nearby spectators.This happened in Bahria Town, Rawalpindi/Islamabad.

Bahria Town is pretty known to hold these car races. Make no mistake, these car races were exactly that; cars that will race with each other, and there never was any type of organization, security, precautions or ANYTHING.

The saddest bit is that the races were ‘organized’ enough to find and get sponsors for the events, but no one had the slightest of idea to put some rudimentary safety precautions (such as tire stacks on the side of road etc).
This accident, like most unfortunate accidents, could have been prevented.

To top it all off, Commissioner Rawalpindi, Zahid Saeed said that the race was illegally organised. But according to this item at the Express Tribune, there is more confusion to it than simply calling it ‘not allowed’. But as far as I am concerned, if a police official is calling it illegal, it probably was.

The Lessons

  • One shouldn’t jump the gun and call the sport of car racing out right illegal.
  • Proper arrangements MUST be made to ensure safety, of not only the spectators, but of the drivers themselves (roll bars should be made a mandatory feature of any car wanting to race)
  • No one should EVER be allowed to stand NEXT to the race track itself!

Car racing is a neglected sport in Pakistan. It shouldn’t be. But sad incidents like these makes your blood boil, as the grieving families are left with no one but everyone to blame. God guide and protect us all.

Pictures from the race

A friend, Moaaz Burki, was present at the race. He was witness to the ‘last race’ and has taken some pictures.