KARACHI: Yamaha, one of the largest motorcycle makers in the world, has resumed assembling motorcycles in Pakistan with an aim to produce up to 400,000 units annually by 2020.
“The new investment from Yamaha will create jobs and bring new technologies,” said Yamaha Motor Company President Hiroyuki Yanagi, adding that, “Pakistan is all set to become one of the top global markets of motorcycles.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony at Port Qasim Industrial Zone, he appreciated the role of the federal government in helping the company set up the plant.
Yamaha Motor Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd, a newly formed company with 100% equity from Yamaha Motor Company, Japan, is expected to produce 30,000 units in year 2015.
The factory has been established with an initial investment of Rs5.3 billion and its current production capacity is 40,000 units per year. It has hired 200 employees in the first phase.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, present on the occasion, said the event is not only historic for Yamaha but also special for the government as it had been looking forward to witnessing this inauguration for the last two years.
“The federal government is aggressively looking for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) because the future of Pakistan lies in it, especially in the manufacturing sector,” he said.
Talking about foreign investors’ concerns, he said, “The government is ready to help in providing additional security in any of the provinces.”
He hoped that Yamaha will get a good response in Pakistan because of the growing demand of motorcycles in the country. “The middle class in Pakistan is growing and people want quality motorcycles,” he added.
In its initial phase, the company has introduced the “YBR125” model, a 125cc engine motorcycle, with a network of 140 dealerships in different parts of the country. Equipped with new technology, industry analysts say the initial price of YBR125 (Rs129,400) is competitive enough for its rival models in the market. Pak Suzuki’s GS150 is available in Rs128,500 while Atlas Honda’s CG125 and CG125 Deluxe is available in Rs102,900 and Rs124,000, respectively.
Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan Hiroshi Inomata said that the presence of the top leadership of Pakistan in the inauguration ceremony signifies the importance of the investment Yamaha has brought into Pakistan.
“We appreciate the efforts of the government of Pakistan in bringing FDI in the country. We believe this is a win-win situation for both Japan and Pakistan,” Inomata added.
Board of Investment Chairman Dr Miftah Ismail said the middle class of Pakistan was growing at a rapid pace. From the current level of 70 million, it will touch 100 million by 2025, making Pakistan one of the top six countries with the largest middle class in the world, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 28th, 2015.