LAHORE - The local motorcycle manufacturers have planned the further investment of $100-150 million in their existing units with a view to cope with the widening domestic market of over 1.5 million units. The motorcycle industry sources have stated that in spite of numerous hiccups the economy had during past four years, the growth in motorcycle production has been robust at 15 percent. A decade back, the total motorcycle production in Pakistan was around 100,000 units, now the largest player alone is rolling out half a million units while total production of two wheelers has crossed 1.5 million. They said that the encouraging aspect in this regard is that industry is on the path to sustained growth. The local demand for motorcycles is likely to exceed 2 million units within a year or two, they added. The global response to our quality motorcycles indicate a sustain and healthy growth in exports as well they said adding that in fact, the industry experts are seeing themselves as the largest exporters in the engineering sector. They said that the sustained growth has been possible due to regular investment and up-gradation of technology in the motorcycle industry. The growth we see in motorcycle production would not have been possible without investment, they added. Fahad Iqbal, CEO, HKF Engineering and the makers of Ravi Motorcycles, said that the industry now has to fulfill the growing demand in both domestic and global markets and for this, it needs to invest over $100 million in the next couple of years to keep abreast with the market needs and demands. He said that all the motorbike producers having production of 50,000 units or above are now planning to expand their capacities to cope up with the market demands. There are almost a dozen players that have achieved this production level he said adding that even if each of them invests $10-15 million, the total investment would cross $150 million. These units have been regularly making investments to increase their market share but now they have reached a level where they have to invest in high-tech parts to ensure that instead of having 90 percent local components, the Pakistani bikes are produced by 100 percent local parts, he added. He urged the government to provide the investors a business friendly situation, so that the huge local investment could not be jeopardized. He said the local investment has been put on hold due to the governments clear cut policy on auto sector, he added. He said that the current players, from Italy, China and Japan, are also in various stages of developing new models in the 100-150 cc range with the latest technology. However, he added, they were not offered any relief even on the import of the environmentally friendly Euro 2 components, which has already been introduced in local bikes production. Capacities exist in the country in areas like sheet metal parts and there is a huge investment need in areas such as die casting for parts like Crank Cases and Crank Covers, electronic parts such as CDI units, engine parts like ACG, Clutch, Pistons, shock absorbers (cushions), plastic parts such as emblems said Arshad Awan, CEO of General Engineering and added that even capacity enhancement and thus investment will be needed in low-tech parts like head light, tail lights and winkers etc. As the industry size grows it nears the critical mass and as a result high investment parts like Carburetors, EFI, Chain Drive and Sprockets sets will be localized. The industry estimates that these will become viable investment options as the volumes grow to 2 million units annually and beyond, he said.