When the automobile manufacturing industry was setup in Pakistan by Japanese companies, everyone in Pakistan thought that it would help bring down the price of cars and also create new jobs. But after years of flagrant frivolity by the car manufacturers we are all left with low quality, old model cars at excessively high prices and only 15% of local manufacturing for automobile industry. Although the automobile industry does not manufacture many parts locally, they do import all parts from abroad and assemble the cars locally in Pakistan. The local automobile industry blames high taxes for high prices of local manufactured cars, which does not make sense, as the taxes haven’t changed much but the prices for cars have gone up.

Now that cheaper Japanese assembled cars have been imported into the country, I also find it strange that the quality of manufacturing and accessories was very high in the second hand Japanese cars, compared to locally manufactured new Pakistani cars. Although the companies claim that parts are imported from abroad. For example, our family Honda City, bought in 2009, for 8.5 Lac Rs, increased to 12.8 Lac for the same model by 2010. This Honda City had a faulty brake, where a single tube is used for delivery of braking fluid to the brakes. This creates a low pressure on the farthest (back) brakes, which makes the car skid. This fault was fixed, when a T-Junction tube, imported from Japan, which is specifically manufactured for Honda City cars was used.

I was surprised to know the reason for this imbalance in design and quality between Japanese and Pakistani cars. A worker at Toyota told me that all imported parts and expensive accessories are removed and replace by cheaper low quality ones. Even Japanese assembled doors, that are much safer in accidents are replaced by cheap Thia manufactured doors of bad quality and which are unsafe. All the Japanese parts are than reloaded on ships and sold back to Japan or other Asian countries.

Although I do not have any proof of all this, but even a simple person can figure out that this story could be true in a corrupt Pakistan. I hope that the Government of Pakistan, the CCP, the Japan Embassy and the Head Offices of the Japanese Manufacturers should seriously look into these allegations to ascertain the truth. Why are low quality, unsafe Japanese cars being assembled in Pakistan and then sold at exuberant high prices? Why is the local automobile industry killing our nation and looting us at the same time?

WAFA SHAHRYAR,

Peshawar, March 14.