Lahore Shopping Festival. And Classic CARS!

Rolls Royce 1965

Expect the Rolls Royce 1965 at the Car Rally

One of the better things coming out of the Lahore Chambers of Commerce is the decision to organize the Lahore Shopping Festival.

It has a lot of things covered it seems. And there is something for car lovers as well.

The Lahore Shopping Festival will start from the 4rd of April 2011, and will go on for about one week, ending on the 10th of April 2011.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • A Polo Tournament at the 125-year-old Lahore Polo Club
  • A Qirat competition on April 5th. The winner of the competition will be awarded PKR 100,000 and an Umra ticket (cool, no?)
  • A Classic Car Rally on April 6th, starting from Siddique Trade Center to Liberty Chowk. Around 50 cars dating from 1920 to 1965 will take part.
  • Young Entrepreneurs’ Business Plan competition will be held at 90 The Mall on the same day i.e. April 6th. (Wonder what the first prize for this competition would be!?!)
  • A Musical Evening at Raiwand Road
  • A Peace Walk on April 7th, from Lahore Chambers of Commerce to Alhamra Hall (Mall Road), at 10:30 AM.
  • A Photography Competition would be held at the Tollinton Market Hall.
  • Lahore Wrestling Competition will be held at the Punjab Wrestling Stadium on April 8th.
  • On the same day (April 8th), a two-day Punjab Expo would start at the remarkably built Lahore Expo Center, where trader and manufacturers would showcase their products at discounted rates.
  • Also on the same day (April 8th), a rally of heavy bikes would be organized, from Lahore Chambers of Commerce and Industry offices to the Lahore Expo Center.
  • A Fashion Show will be help on April 8th at 8:00 PM at The Royal Palm.
  • A Conference on Investment Opportunities will be held at the Lahore Expo Auditorium on April 9th.  A must-attend for would-be entrepreneurs and businessmen.
  • A Cycle Race from the LCCI offices to the Lahore Expo Center would be help on April 10th.

OK, so I don’t know about you, but a lot of things are happening here; Cars, bikes, cycles, business opportunities and even wrestling and fashion shows! Don’t know about you, but it sure presents ample opportunity for many of us to be entertained, get educated and stay interested!

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 Avanza in Pakistan

2010 has hardly started, and Pakistan sees five different cars being launched!

First, there was the Suzuki Swift (covered on CarAdvice here and for Swift pictures, see here). Then there is Toyota coming out with four different cars, all belonging to the, ahem ill-defined ‘spacious’ variety:

  • Toyota Prado (CarAdvice’s review of one cool feature in Prado can be found here)
  • Toyota Avanza
  • Toyota Fortuner (that I can’t help spell and call Fortrunner)
  • Terios  (by Dihatsu)

Toyota Avanza is priced at PKR 1,799,000 for the Standard version and PKR 1,999,000 for the ‘Up Spec’. And the difference of PKR 200,000 is because in the Up-Spec version, you have 4 speakers instead of 2, 15-inch alloys instead of 14-inch steel and ‘electronic’ rear view mirror control instead of ‘manual’.

The car is 1.5 liters which I feel will be underpowered if you stack the car up to full capacity and drive back home from a good lunch. Toyota is intelligent enough to introduce different cars into the market and play up to the wallet of all classes of our society. I keep hearing stupid remarks by people that ‘the cars are too expensive’ for Toyota to bring in. No man, the car is expensive for me to buy it! But there are definitely people out there who’d consider Toyota Avanza as a right fit for their combined family trip. Tthe reason Yamaha doesn’t bring in heavy bikes, or Suzuki doesn’t bring their highly successful GS series of motorbikes (from 150 CC to 750CC) to Pakistan is ‘officially’ quoted as ‘lack of a market’. Well, there will be no market unless some makes it, and Toyota makes it every time!

Toyota Avanza Pictures

This is what it is all about, check ‘em out.

Karting Championship

 

If you look up “Motorsports in Lahore” on google this is what you get…

motorsports-in-lahore

...

But this joke is losing it’s humor. And that’s because there have been at least four proper motorsports events in Lahore within the last year including a 4×4 mud rally, a couple of go-kart races and a so called drag race. Finally there’s some excitement in the Lahoree petrol-heads’ life.

race venue

Last weekend Lake City was home to a go-kart race organized by Racing Pakistan and sponsored by Bank Alfalah. A race track was improvised on the excellent streets of Lake City (a rare sight in Lahore). The race was held at night under flood lights to avoid the scorching heat of the day. It was a five hour endurance race so each team had 3 to 4 drivers who replaced one another at the end of a stint.

Karting is considered as the most basic form of motorsports. And although a go-kart might look like something you’d buy for your five year old boy but don’t be fooled by its benign looks. Go-kart racing is all about agility and acceleration. That’s why go-karts weigh next to nothing and have very high power to weight ratio. As a result a go-kart changes direction like a gazelle and goes like stink. And that’s why go-kart tracks are very tight and twisty.

F1 replica

F1 replica

This is the second time that Racing Pakistan has organized a kart race in Lahore. The first event was held back in August 2008. Adnan Sarwar is the front man of this organization who is working with Bank Alfalah to promote motorsports in Pakistan.

When I went to see this race last year I saw a Ferrari followed soon after by an Aston Martin and several Porsches. So I wondered how long would it be before I wake up. But then i was forced to realise that it wasn’t a dream. So the next explanation I came up with was that I had somehow reached a European town located on Raiwind Road. Because to me, that was a less ridiculous idea than actually seeing a Ferrari and an Aston Martin in Lahore.

Altough I didn’t see the Ferrari and the Aston this year (maybe I missed them) but the car park was still quite dream-like.

There are many things I can think of that could have been better on this event but I think it’s more important to appreciate the effort for bringing motorsports to Pakistan which is something we really need.

In case you’re wondering why you never found out about some or all of these events, well you’re not alone, because many people missed these events because they didn’t know about them. Anyway cheer up! I’ll do my best to keep you informed about any future happenings. And if you know about any upcoming events please do share this information with us.

Here are some pictures from the event…

red-bull-mini

racetrack

racetrack

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And here are some pictures from the last year’s event…

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Here’s a video report of the event which isn’t very good but it’s all I could find.

Lahore Karting Championship

Originally posted at: Horse Power

Drag Race in Lahore

As promised, Car Advice has some decent coverage for you folks, regarding the first ever Drag Race in Lahore. In fact, the first ever organized drag racing competition in Pakistan. Period.

The competition was held at Walton Airport.

Just look at the number of people who actually were present at the event, and you will be forced to call this event a success – and credit goes to TDCP for this.

TDCP organized this drag race after successfully carrying out a string of rally races across Pakistan – those rallies were well-received. And like stated earlier, just the sheer turnout of the people, with and without their cars to show off, makes this event another feather in TDCP’s cap.

The Cars

The cars that one got to see were of all types and breeds. From Porsche to Nissan to Mazda to BMW to Chrysler, all hot looking things of beauties were strutting their power and their shine on the open, long track of Walton Airport. Apart from the racing, the ‘non official’ hair pins and burn outs were the real crowd pleasures, with swarm of people shouting ‘Burn out, burn out’ to drivers of cars as varied as a Corolla and a BMW Z3. (videos coming up)

The Drag Race Event

I personally do have some reservations with the management of the event, given that people were crossing the actual track WHILE the cars were racing on it! But as this was a drag race and only one car at a time was being timed, nothing untoward happened ‘so far’. Surely, this kind of loose management is something to correct for future events.  Some families were not happy with the arrangements at all (interview coming up, stay tuned), but agreed that the event was a very good effort and should be improved for next time.

Nothing like the sound of a revving engine and screaming tires.

Videos and pictures, coming up!

If any one of you have any pictures or videos, do let me know so I can display it here. You can either submit the video and/or pictures for CarAdvice, or perhaps provide a link to your media on other websites like YouTube.