Importing cars to Pakistan

Toyota Vitz Imported

Import of 5 year old cars to Pakistan is now allowed...

I have imported a Honda Accord CF3 directly from Japan. This was in 2007. It was a great car, and is the best one I have owned (I have not owned many high-end cars, not yet at least! ;) ) … I have other goals for life etc for the time being.

The reason CarAdvice.pk have had a few posts on the import of cars to Pakistan is because of the recent politically-driven bill of allowing import of 5 year old cars into Pakistan. And what do you know, the government has finally re-considered and have now allowed the import of 5 year old cars into Pakistan.

Now, the ‘automobile industry’ of Pakistan, as expected does not like this:

The Pakistan Automobile Manufacturers Association (PAMA) and Pakistan Association of Auto Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM), the assemblers of cars and the auto parts vendors, have expressed dismay over the government decision to allow import of up to five-year-old cars that would retard the gradual growth the auto sector was witnessing after two years of turmoil.

I have mentioned why this decision is GOOD for the consumer here.

But, as mentioned in The News (a daily newspaper), there is a rationale behind the recent decision to allow the import of 5-year-old cars:

The cabinet has finally taken a good decision to allow the import of five-year-old cars. The lack of competition in the market, owing to its small size and absence of economies of scale, make the car assemblers make money at the cost of ordinary people by increasing prices whenever the Japanese yen rises or the rupee falls. Ideally, we should have a developed car industry but it can not develop in a country with a small market size. To put it in perspective, China produced more than 13 million cars in 2009, Japan almost eight million and the USA around six million, compared to a little over 100,000 in Pakistan.

It would be foolish to expect the car assemblers in Pakistan not to raise prices when the yen rises or the Rupee falls further, because most of the car components for assembly are imported from Japan. However, if the size of the car market increases, there would be greater need for spare parts and Pakistan can make good-quality car parts, which could also be exported. Later on, if the numbers of cars sold in the country passes a certain threshold; we can also make good-quality cars. Until then the focus should be on increasing the market size and bringing cars within the reach of the ordinary people.

Source

So, do you guys think that this is a good decision? I know I am happy because I don’t want to pay 2.0 million rupees for a 1.8 sedan when I can pay less for a four-by-four. Let’s hear your comments people!!!

The New Hilux

Toyota Hilux in Pakistan

Toyota Hilux Turbo in Pakistan

For those who are not aware, the Toyota Hilux is very much a living legend.

From Top Gear to Newsweek, the critics have always held great respect for the rough and tough 4×4. Not only that, the  Toyota Hilux is well known for its part in the wars of our world! Yes, much like the revered AK-47 when it comes to weapons, the Toyota Hilux is considered the AK-47 of vehicles.

The Toyota Hilux in Pakistan

We have had the Vigo, the imported variety of the Hilux, plying our roads for some time now. It is by all means, a desirable vehicle. And no one has to tell you that they are talking about the Hilux and when they say ‘Double Cabin’.

But there is one problem; more often than not, you’d see the ‘lords of our country’ stuffing their guards into the Hilux. It is, for most intents and purposes, considered a ‘guard car’, but that is not to be considered a bad thing! The Hilux gets a kick out of this reputation as well; guards get the toughest car, no?

My anecdotal review

One fine day, I got to ride in a Land Cruiser, a Pardo and the double cabin Hilux. All three 4×4′s, on the same day. As expected, the Cruiser took full marks on pretty much everything (it is not the best car in the world for nothing!), but to my surprise, I just couldn’t place the Prado above the Double Cabin. The Hilux was more comfortable, even in the supposedly cramped back seat (it is not cramped, you only imagine it to be!)

What’s new in the New Hilux?

The same that you’d expect from a monopolistic, zero-competition industry; not much. The ‘new’ Hilux is claimed to have a new ‘Turbo’ engine, whatever that means, and the website does not tell you much about what ‘new engine’ got placed.

There are two ‘trims’ to the Hilux; Hilux Standard and Hilux Turbo.

So, what is the difference in the engines of the Standard and the Turbo? If you dare to read the specifications, you will clearly see the difference in the Standard and Turbo engines.

Toyota Hilux Standard and Turbo difference

And what exactly does TURBO mean?

Why are you not surprised that both the engines have EXACTLY the same specifications?

Toyota, especially with the Corolla, have given us the same 2.0 Diesel engine for ages, whereas the diesel technology on Toyota cars has leaped forward in other parts of the world. I request the Toyota guys reading this, to please give us a break!


Give me 4 Lacs, I will give you AC

If you ever get a chance to see the Toyota Indus website, you’d see that they have tried to present even the smallest of things as ‘features’ of this ‘new’ Hilux. They even go ahead and mention things like “premium” fabric on the inside of doors as a freakin’ feature. Are you kidding me? And they mention that the new Hilux have ‘bottle holders’. What the hell?

But then again, the ‘Standard’ version of the ‘new’ Turbo Hilux does not have Air Conditioning, or the ‘premium’ fabric gracing the inside of the door. So you better end up paying 400,000 more for the Turbo version! Wait till people pimp their Standard versions over at the Montgomery Road, and get it to “look” exactly like the Turbo version for quarter of the price difference.

And there is no option of automatic transmission in either of the two trims. That is just sad.

The Price We Pay

The standard comes to 2,349,000 Pakistani Rupees.

The Turbo costs 2,749,000 Pakistani Rupees.

There is the touchscreen DVD and other ‘little things’ that make up the price difference. You also get the A/C in the Turbo version. So rejoice!

Will you buy this car?

I will buy this vehicle because it ‘looks’ good, and even the ‘old’ engine tech of Toyota has stood the test of time. I will not buy this car if I have the slightest of chance of getting an imported vehicle.

I only want to get one thing clear; the Pakistani market is constantly given a bad deal, or rather a deal that is just good enough. As mentioned previously on Car Advice, if you really want to see if ‘our cars’ would stand up against ANY competition, let us import cars at a lower duty. Then no one, and I mean, NO ONE, would pay what we have to pay.

Specifications (the boring part)

DIMENSIONS
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
Overall Length mm 5130 5255
Overall Width mm 1760 1835
Overall Height mm 1810
Wheelbase mm 3085
ENGINE SPECIFICATIONS
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
Engine Type 2KD-FTV
Fuel System Common-Rail Type
Displacement cc 2494
Maximum Output kW/rpm 75 / 3600
Maximum Torque Nm/rpm 260 / 1600-2400
Maximum Turning Radius (body) m 6.5
PERFORMANCE
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
Transmission 260 / 1600-2400
Brakes Front Ventilated Disc
Rear Drum
ABS X 0
Suspension Front Double Wishbone
Rear Leaf, Rigid
Stabilizer Bar Standard
Steering System Hydraulic Power Steering
Tire and Wheel 205R16C 6J 255/70R15C 7J WITH ALLOYS
Fuel Tank Capacity Liters 76
SAFETY
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
GOA BODY STRUCTURE 0
FUEL LEVEL WARNING 0
Seat Belt Driver: 3 Point ELR, with Pretensioner and Force Limiter Passenger: 3 Point ELR
2 Passengers: 3 Point ELR Center Passenger: Non Retractable
SRS Air Bag X D + P
EXTERIOR
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
Front Grill Black Body Colored
Door Outside Handle Black Body Colored
Front Bumper Black Body Colored
Outside Rear View Mirror Black Body Colored With Side Turn Lamps
Front Head Lamps Halogen
Antenna Pillar
Deck Guard 0 X
High Mount Stop Lamp X 0
Rear Window Defogger X 0
Sun Visors X 0
Side Step X 0
Over Fenders X 0
Rear Bumper X 0
Roof Rack / Carrier X 0
Roll Bar X 0
Bull Guard X 0
Front Hood Protector X 0
Front Fog and Driving Lamps X 0
Deck Liner With Tailgate Cover X 0
INTERIOR
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
Air Conditioning X 0
Heater 0
Speakers X 4SP – Door Mounted
Audio X Touchscreen DVD/CD Player
Steering Wheel 3 Spoke Urethane 4 Spoke Urethane
Manual Tilt
Seats Fabric Premium Fabric
Interior Color Scheme Gray
Multi Info Display Clock Only
Door Inside Handle Colored
Room Lamp 0
Instrument Panel Center Cluster Gray Silver
Power Windows X 0
Headrest Front 0
Rear
Console Box X 0
Speedometer Analog KM/H

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.

Govt to allow import of 5 year old cars

Finally, some hope. Govt might allow import of 5 year old cars (up to 1300 CC) and heavy vehicles.

As you know, I am a thing or two to say about the import restrictions on cars and how that has given birth to a mafia of big industrial players. They control the prices and cars like a Toyota Corolla cost as much as 2.0 million rupees! Unbelievable. But that is not all, import restriction on tractors and trucks and buses is also in effect, giving chance to companies like Messi Ferguson to give tractor deliveries with a 3 month wait period.

Auto Industry of Pakistan

The ever-grinning Auto Industry of Pakistan just might get a scare.


The automobile mafia in Pakistan should get a light jolt with this one. Should. If the ECC recommendation gets approved.

Let’s hope that someone with a conscious is handling this. God bless us all.

Import of cars in Pakistan – bad for the industry?

The budget is upon us. Import of 3 year old cars is currently allowed and that is a problem. Why? Because a car that is three year old is practically new – you get a good price for it and the cars they are making nowadays, 3 years worth of mileage is not that much. This means most cars being imported were expensive because they were ONLY 3 years old.

Now in the upcoming budget, there are considerations to extend this ’3 year limit’ to 5 years. Now you can import 5 year old cars into Pakistan, so says the budget proposition. And guess who opposes this decisions? The automobile industry of Pakistan, of course.

According to a press release, the car industry folks believe that the importers will, and I quote,

‘dump junk automobiles in the market, creating unhealthy and unfair competition for the local manufacturers

Well sire, if that is the case, let the dumping of 2003 Honda Accords and 2006 model Toyota Vitz begin! It would take some serious battering to make a five year old car ‘junk’. Like I said, the cars made in 2006 for example, would still beat the Pakistani manufactured car built in 2010 ANY DAY! This should be taken as a wake up call by the Pakistani businessmen to get their act together and start producing cars worth paying money for. They – the automobile industry – sell us cars that are high on price and low on quality, and they do it because they have the one thing any business would want – a monopoly. Why would I buy a Toyota Corolla for 1.8 Million rupees when I can import a 2002 Honda Accord CF3 for 1.3 Million? Is it really worth your money to buy a Suzuki Cultus than to buy a Toyota Vitz?

This bill, if passed, would be a win for the consumer. They would have more cars to choose from, hence forcing the automobile industry to lower their prices (you wish!!).

I wonder what someone from Honda would say to this? If the price of production of these cars is so high, then why aren’t we told about this? If the car companies here want to make exuberant profits, then why wouldn’t the consumer look elsewhere?

Stay tuned for more on this…God willing.

Toyota Land Cruiser Prado

Got the pictures and the owner has agreed to give a detailed review of Land Cruiser Prado. As the review is on the way, I would like to share a nice little feature that is found in this 4×4: The camera that gives a detailed view of the surroundings at the back of the Prado.

When you put the vehicle in reverse, the display inside the car automatically shows the view:

When you put the car in reverse, the screen switches to the camera at the back of the car.

When you put the car in reverse, the screen switches to the camera at the back of the car.

But the real clever bit is the use of simple and easy to understand lines that show the expected path of the vehicle depending on which way you turn the wheels!

close up of the screen with a neat overlay of lines showing the expected path of the vehicle

close up of the screen with a neat overlay of lines showing the expected path of the vehicle

You turn the wheels a certain way, and the yellow lines will adjust accordingly, showing you the expected path of the vehicle. As you can see, I am right now reversing into the gate.

No more neck twisting, left-arm-behind-passenger-seat type of reversing. This makes your driving experience a tad more pleasurable – and in today’s high end cars, it is the little things that make the biggest difference, no?

Basic Info:

Car Name: Toyota Land Cruiser Prado

Model: 2003

Registered: 2004

Price: PKR 3.5 Million

Color: Silver

P.S. I will be uploading the pictures as soon as I get the review in place, God willing.