KARACHI - The government must quickly firm up the new auto policy and decide how it wishes to pursue the mobilization growth i.e. through manufacturing or trading and look at the examples of neighboring countries like India, Thailand and Indonesia which have nurtured their industries until the threshold volumes were achieved to gain competitiveness, said Indus Motor Chairman Ali S Habib.

“These countries have restrictions on import of used cars and have used tariff and non-tariff barriers to ensure domestic production is not damaged irretrievably,” he said, adding that no auto manufacturing country permits liberal imports of used cars as Pakistan and here our government would do well to tighten this policy if the industry is to flourish.

“The IMC in its 25 years of operations contributed Rs 224 billion to national kitty. Our company is contributing over 1 per cent of Federal Board of Revenue’s total tax collection,” said Indus Motor Chairman Ali S Habib.

It is to be noted that IMC is celebrating its silver jubilee this year. “The journey to self-reliant Pakistan started in 1989 with 500 employees and a paid up capital of Rs 1.3 billion. The first locally manufactured Corolla was introduced in March 1993,” he added.

Today, he added, IMC with production capacity of 230 cars per day is one of the biggest manufacturing concerns of Pakistan with substantial forward and backward linkages, duly recognized by the major stakeholders. “Besides, 1,400 parts are supplied every day (100 plus truck loads supply) and there are 1,000 plus transactions,” said Ali.

He added that the progress of IMC in terms of localization in over 25 years is commendable which can be gauged by the fact that the company is procuring local parts worth over 110 million every working day. ‘These heavy local purchases worth of 110 million rupees are substituting imports and saving foreign exchange for Pakistan,’ he added.

Ali informed that IMC has recently introduced 11th Generation Corolla which is the most sophisticated and technology laden vehicle in its class being manufactured in only 13 countries, including Pakistan.

“The 11th Generation Corolla was introduced at a price of $15,920. The recognition for quality of IMC’s cars can be easily seen by this example when 100 plus Corolla Altis were exported to Sri Lanka in 2013-14,” said Ali.

Ali stated that auto manufacturing is a high profile industry that generates enormous revenue, employs millions of people and is proxy for a nation’s manufacturing prowess and economic influence, and therefore regarded as the ‘mother of all industries’ due to the value chain it creates.

In USA, 5% of the employed population is involved in automotive and allied industries, while in Japan and South Korea about every 8th person is connected to this industry. “Pakistan is set to become the 4th largest populated country by 2030 of 240 million and this presents a huge potential for growth of mobility in the country and equally the opportunity of providing employment and skilled jobs for the growing youth,” he added.

Chairman IMC said they are fortunate to have Toyota (the number automaker globally) as their joint venture partner. “Over the years this partnership has transformed Indus Motor to become a formidable player in the domestic auto industry creating thousands of jobs, enabling transfer of technology like pioneering robotics and high tech parts manufacturing and above all the human skills development through application of Toyota Production System and exposure of hundreds of our people to Toyota plants overseas,” Ali added.

It is pertinent to mention that from a humble beginning in 1989 with production capacity of 20 cars a day and a workforce of 500 employees today it is a company of over 2,700 employees with production capacity of 230 cars a day.