Photo: SAMAA DIGITAL
Master Changan Motors, a Pakistani-Chinese joint venture, has begun exporting its Oshan X7 mid-size crossover to Kenya.
Containers carrying Oshan X7 cars have been spotted in Karachi, on their way to the port.
Insiders have confirmed that numerous Oshan X7 SUVs will be exported to Kenya.
The company has not yet officially announced its export plan, but it is expected to do so during a ceremony at its Karachi plant on October 12.
In the past, Changan Pakistan CEO Danial Malik has said that the company plans to export right-hand drive vehicles designed for Pakistan to other regions.
The parent company originally made left-hand drive vehicles for its domestic market.
Danial also said that Changan’s Pakistan-assembled vehicles would be sold to distributors in South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, and other countries where right-hand drive vehicles are the norm.
The development also comes at a time when Pakistan is facing severe economic difficulties, including high inflation and high costs of doing business.
Interest rates are currently at record highs, which is also dampening demand for cars.
In the meantime, car prices in Pakistan have also increased significantly, putting further strain on the wallets of struggling consumers.
The government has been urging the auto sector, which is heavily reliant on imported materials, to increase exports.
The initial target was to achieve 2% of total imports, but this target was not met in FY23.
In May 2022, Pakistan exported its first vehicle made by Master Changan Motors under the new Auto Industry Development and Export Policy (AIDEP 2021-26).
Pakistan was the only country apart from China to produce the latest model of Changan Oshan X7.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) on October 11 revealed that car sales in Pakistan experienced a 10% increase in September when compared to the previous month, with a total of 8,312 units sold.
While this short-term boost is attributed to improved access to raw materials, the year-on-year statistics indicate a significant 26% decline in sales for the same period.