Karachi: Indus Motors promises to launch the Corolla Cross Hybris Car by the end of this year. The company aims to produce a vehicle that consumes 50% less fuel due to high petrol prices. Indus Motors, a leading vehicle brand in Pakistan and the maker of Toyota-brand vehicles is betting on its upcoming hybrid car, the Corolla Cross. The step has been taken after considering the constant increase in petrol prices.
Ali Asgha Jamali, CEO of Indus Motors Company, said, “Hybrid vehicles will do well as they consume 50% lower fuel”.In addition, he also stated that “HEVs are the most sustainable solution to the country’s economic problems. Pakistan is one the worst victims of climate change and needs strategic measures on every front to address these challenges.” “This move towards HEVs is a sustainable solution to Pakistan’s economic challenges, addressing macroeconomic objectives, bolstering employment, increasing exports, and trimming imports.” Jamali expressed his views by stating “Pakistan is acutely affected by climate change, necessitating comprehensive measures across all sectors.”
In a recent press release, CEO Jamali highlighted the aim behind the release is to consume 50% less fuel than its conventional petrol and diesel counterparts. The new advanced hybrid technology will help reduce the import expense with an anticipated annual saving of approximately $37 million from 30,000 hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) units.
The company has already invested $100 million to introduce HEV vehicles in Pakistan. This time, the company is planning to introduce the company’s first locally assembled HEV SUV, the Corolla Cross. The company says the vehicle will touch the roads by late 2023 or early 2024. The company promises to help reduce carbon emissions, a pressing concern in Pakistan. In Pakistan, fossil fuels account for 62% of the energy mix compared to 5% in India. According to the Global Carbon Budget 2022, Pakistan’s annual CO2 emissions were 229.51 million tonnes in 2021, up 9% from 210.38 million tonnes in 2020.
However, currently, Pakistan is facing a difficult economic situation, and the vehicle demand remains subdued. For the next 12 to 18 months, Jamali predicted that the car industry would sell 6,000 vehicles monthly, with IMC accounting for about 1,500 sales. A devaluation of the Pakistani rupee and more extraordinary auto financing expenses have raised vehicle costs, reducing customer demand. Jamali also said that despite registering a 55% reduction in production, the company still needs to lay off employees. The company has remained committed to its employees and refrained from layoffs. “The country’s automobile sector faces major challenges including weak demand, rapid price escalation, expensive auto financing, higher taxes, and deteriorating macros.”
According to him, the company faced a 58% decline in annual volumetric sales from January to June 2023. According to Jamali, the local auto sector constantly struggles to reach its production goals due to letters of credit issued for a specific period but still negatively affecting sales. Speaking to a channel, he states that “the import of used cars is gaining momentum, severely impacting the already affected local auto industry, as total used car imports are more than the production of some OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers).” In addition, he also stated that more than 6,000 used cars were imported in this fiscal year, with more than 1,800 units being imported only in May and June this year. “In the presence of minimum foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan, the government should refrain from permitting the policy of importing used cars and instead support the local auto industry, which produces cars locally.”
He added that the automobile industrial growth is significantly linked with a planned import policy, and the growth of the local auto industry can never be achieved if the government freely allows the import of local cars. “This issue of used car imports is also nullifying the plausible localization achieved by the local auto industry, in terms of parts and future localization plans.”