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Automobile industry in Pakistan.

Caught in a traffic jam in some major cities of Pakistan, one feels there are too many automobiles in this country. But the fact of the matter is that our country is heavily under-motorised. This is bad considering that in developed world, the automobile industry is the second largest one after the steel and iron industry. It contributes more than 10 per cent in the total output of the manufacturing industry of the developed countries, and employs 10 per cent of their populations, plus, it develops a whole chain of vendor industries.

The under-motorisation of this country is not just symptomatic of underdevelopment. A potential growth gap also exists in our automobile industry. The two factors responsible for this gap are a weak transport sector, and lack of government incentive for the general investor. For years and years, transporters had remained shy to invest in this sector. This was usually attributed to on one hand, increased operational costs and, on the other, absence of better and long-term policies for the automotive industries. The problems of public transport seemed to have become insurmountable and needed bold initiative on part of the government for solutions. This situation has shown slight improvement. Some barriers to development have now been removed and the automobile industry has started to hope for a better tomorrow.


Pakistan's automotive industry came into existence in 1950s the pioneers General Motors. Chryslers, and Ford Motors were all privately owned and still at an embryonic stage of their development. It was then that Ghandhara Industries were born Ltd. General (Retd.) M. Habibullah Khan Khattak bought major shares of General Motors, and gave the company a new identity.

The automotive industry like all others was badly affected in 1972 by nationalisation. The industrial stride in an ambitious direction was suddenly halted. This step threw the automotive industry in a black hole of stagnation. The assembling of public transport units was stopped while that of commercial vehicle stumbled down to a very limited scale. Such long-term policy decisions play pivotal role indecinding the after of an industry. In the case of the automotive industry it proved counter productive for an entire range of vendor industries.

All industrial growth is dependent on long term policy making. Every industry required certain amount of time span to root itself in the economic climate of a country, grow into maturity and then expand. Only then it provides for any basic structure for complex yet competitively productive network of vendor industries.

Automobile production involves manufacturing thousands of vastly different components. Each and every step needs precision in specialised production functions. It is a mix of electrical, mechanical, chemical metal, plastic and glass industries. Any automobile industry, therefore, will depend on the development of the input industries. An organised network of these sub-industries plays a vital role in the overall industrial development of the automotive sector.

Development of any industry is also dependent on the certainly of the government policy, any swift changes in the official priorities badly affect the long-term planning of an industrial sector. This is particularly true for the automobile industry where production units require satisfactory.

This government has shown positive signs of formulating a long-term industrial policy. This brings some hope for the industrial sector. But any such effort on part of the policy makers would go in vain unless it is backed by the expertise of professionals. Instead of a generalised industrial development policy, particularly factors central to the development of different industrial sectors, should be taken into considerations.

Ghandhara Nissan has been an example of this strategy using modern technology, and the best available talent. Ghandhara Nissan has been market leaders for years and years despite all the problems that the automotive industry faced. This position was achieved also because of the fact that Ghandhara Nissan assigns top priority to the customer satisfaction. And we are sure the new steps taken by the government will reinforce this position of ours. We will be able to market high-quality products that best suit our share in the economic progress of the country. We have always concentrated all our efforts to achieve indigenisation of the most modern technology and production of the safest durable and economical, yet profitable commercial vehicles for parallel domestic operations. We have put a major portion of our investment efforts in training high-profile professionals both at home and abroad. They possess the ability to not look the future but also shape it according to their plans.

The past might set trends for the future, but future is always different from the past. It is an anticipation of the future trends that the Ghandhara have launched the Nissan Diesel CPA87 medium duty truck and SP201 bus series. These products incorporate all the future oriented amenities such as the most modern technology, most economical fuel consumption, maximum power, and reliable and comfortable performance. It is because of these features that the two become the products of today as well as tomorrow.
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Author:Ghauri, Akram M.
Publication:Economic Review
Article Type:Industry Overview
Date:Jun 1, 1993
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