ISLAMABAD: This is with reference to Syed Ovais Akhter’s letter “Auto industry protection” (July 13). Mr Akhtar states that “local auto companies manufacture new vehicles that are sold at the same cost as used vehicles that are imported”. First, the locally manufactured cars are much more expensive than their imported, used versions. Anyone can compare an imported used vehicle’s price with that of a brand new locally manufactured car.
Secondly, the maintenance cost of imported vehicles is not as high as portrayed by him. Third, the local industry strips down a number of features, including safety features and various comfort options. Many locally manufactured cars even lack basic car features.
Last but not the least, the local industry and its associated dealers are ripping off the Pakistani consumers, charging an additional ‘on’ price, along with taking a 100 per cent advance when the customer books the car, which is delivered months down the line.
Had the local car manufacturers cared about quality and price structure, then Pakistani buyers would never have considered buying imported vehicles. The local auto industry needs to improve its offerings rather than lobbying for banning imports.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2012.
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