As part of its global expansion plan, National Carmaker Proton has landed a manufacturing plant in Pakistan, a neighboring country of India, a special ground-breaking ceremony was held in one of the highest populated cities of Pakistan, Islamabad. The leaders of the two countries, Malaysia’s Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr Mahathir and Prime Minister of Pakistan, His Excellency Imran Khan signed an official commemorative plaque to kick start the festivities.
This is the first-ever CKD (Completely-Knocked Down) manufacturing site for Proton in Pakistan. The manufacturing site also signified a much-needed foreign investment for the host country.
The manufacturing site will be built at a Greenfield site in the capital city of Pakistan, Karachi. The factory is owned and operated by ALHAJ Automotive, the official distributor for Proton vehicles in Pakistan. Commencement of the factory will start before the end of 2020. An investment cost of USD30 million was pumped in to build the manufacturing site in Karachi’s Greenfield area. The new site is expected to generate some 2,000 jobs in its first three years of operations. It is estimated that a further 20,000 jobs will also be created in the future.
An agreement was reached between Proton and ALHAJ Automotive on 29 August 2018. Following the partnership agreement, ALHAJ Automotive was committed as the official distributor of Proton cars in the country. To take advantage of reduced duties for CKD vehicles in the country, a plan was devised to build a brand-new assembly plant thereafter.
Two years, the National carmakers revealed a plan, known as the Seven Stars strategy, a roadmap to achieve their long-term goals or specially sales targets in the regions they’re investing in. They target to sell as many as 400,000 units by 2027 in these regions. To achieve the sales objective, Proton strives to increase export sales and establish more assembly plants in these regions.
Proton’s Chairman Dato’ Sri Syed Faisal Albar commented, “Proton is very pleased its partnership with ALHAJ Automotive has moved forward very quickly since we inked the agreement in August 2018. Expanding the sales of Proton vehicles outside of Malaysia is vital for us to achieve our long-term goals and we therefore hope for the Pakistan automotive market to be one of our growth engines for the future.”
Al-Haj Shah Jee Gul Afridi, Chairman of ALHAJ Automotive, added. “We will leverage on our current dealerships located nationwide to start selling Proton vehicles as soon as possible while we develop standalone 3S/4S outlets at the same time. Initially we will source CBU units from Malaysia before switching to CKD products once the new assembly plant begins operations before the end of 2020.”
Proton currently has global ties in Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Mauritius, Bangladesh, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Oman, Yemen, Oman, Iran, U.A.E., Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, U.K., Australia, Cyprus, Turkey and Chile.