KARACHI: Taking benefit of government’s Auto Policy 2016-21, Morris Garages (MG Motors) is planning to start local production of its three SUVs, MG-HS, MG-ZS 1.5 and MG ZS EV, which is fully electric and has 44.5 KWH power, by the end of December 2021.

MG Motor is a British car manufacturer but after changing hands with several other owners, now being produced by Chinese giant SAIC Motor Corporation Limited (SAIC Motor) in Europe.

The market dealers said that the company has imported few vehicles of SUV MG-HS, MG-ZS 1.5 which have a 1.5 turbocharged engine. The company will initially monitor the performance of these brands in Pakistan and later it will start their productions.

The SUV is expected to give competition to Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, the dealer said.

“Initially there is a huge demand of British cars in Pakistan,” said a dealer. Javed Afridi is one of the key stakeholders in the joint venture between Pakistan’s JW-SEZ and Chinese giant SAIC, which now owns British MG Motors.

The dealer said that limited stock for MG-HS SUV is already available but a formal launch which will take place in December this year.

The company’s plan is to start local production by the end of 2021. In the first phase, they will launch three SUVs, the MG-HS, MG-ZS 1.5 and MG ZS EV, which are fully electric and have 44.5 KWH power. The company will launch other models as well by early 2021, including sedans and hatchbacks, the dealer added.

MG Motors is among the car companies that have come to Pakistan after the government announced its Auto Development Policy for 2016-21. The company had already launched commercial vehicles such as trucks under the banner of JW-Forland in Pakistan.

According to the new auto policy of the federal government, the company can import only 100 vehicles of each brand on which 50% customs duty would be exempted, while the company has to pay all sales taxes including regulatory duties etc. Meanwhile, the company has to pay 100 percent customs duty on its 101st CBU unit.

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. The al number of booked cars is even less than 1,000 units. Although there is no confirm numbers, as the booking is still on.

According to the Engineering Development Board (EDB), the company will get this benefit if it is going to manufacture the said car locally. Otherwise, it has to pay full duty and taxes on all CBU units.

The dealers said imports of these vehicles are delayed as work on ports are either halted or decreased across the world due to COVID-19 restrictions. The manufacturing of Indus Motors Toyota disturbed due to lack of imported spare parts and the reason behind is same, the issues in the import process and ports operation.

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 its expiry.

The correspondent tried to contact its owner Javed Afridi several times, but he did not reply till filing of this news.


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