Pakistan is set to see the entry of another major auto player with the announcement of Groupe Renault and Al-Futtaim that they have signed definitive agreements for the exclusive assembly and distribution of Renault vehicles in Pakistan.
Renault, which was earlier also involved in talks with Ghandhara Nissan, will now be in partnership with the UAE-based conglomerate, stated a press release issued on Monday.
“By partnering with Al-Futtaim, Groupe Renault aims to become a major player in Pakistan. We aim to bring our latest products and cutting-edge technology and set new benchmarks of safety and quality in the market.
The parties expect that the plant will be built starting the first quarter of 2018 in Karachi as per Groupe Renault standards, and car sales are planned to start in 2019, ramping up in 2020.
Meanwhile, the president of Al-Futtaim Automotive, Len Hunt said that Pakistan’s 200 million population, growing economy and “vibrant” middle class will make it an important strategic growth market.
Al-Futtaim’s global automotive operations extend to 11 markets across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, and Pakistan represents one of the most dynamic opportunities in these regions, in particular due to the new Automotive Development Policy.
The finalisation of the transaction remains subject to a number of conditions, mainly relating to relevant regulatory approvals from Pakistani authorities.The announcements and plans of global carmakers come after years of Japanese domination in Pakistan’s auto sector that has resulted in capacity constraint issues for Suzuki, Indus Motor and Honda Atlas. Delivery times for new vehicles stretch as much as six months, and called for new entrants in the domestic market.