Indus Motor Company Rejects Rumors of Toyota’s Exit from Pakistan

Indus Motor Company (IMC) the assembler of Toyota cars in Pakistan has refuted the viral news spreading on social media claiming Toyota’s irreversible exit from Pakistan. IMC quickly provided clarification, stating that the brief closure of its plant was only a typical occurrence and that production has since restarted.

Screenshot 2023 06 22 at 21 59 24 Fake News

According to IMC, the shutdown was brought on by a lack of stock and a delay in the opening of Letters of Credit (LCs). It stressed that as part of the regular business cycle, the production units had suspended operations up until June 8, 2023. Speaking to the Express Tribune, Ali Asghar Jamali, CEO of IMC said the company’s ambitions to launch new models, including a locally manufactured hybrid SUV intended to reduce carbon emissions by 35%, are still on track. He also emphasized how important an influence on the environment as well as reducing the country’s fuel import bill this major accomplishment will have.


An advertisement in newspapers was also published as a response which highlights that IMC has invested over US$100 million to manufacture the first Made in Pakistan hybrid electric SUV, which in fact is the Toyota Corolla Cross and will have the highest level of localization. The ad mentions that Toyota Pakistan maintains its steadfast commitment to future investments in hybrid technology that will further propel the Prime Minister’s vision of a progressive nation.

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Toyota Corolla Cross hybrid at the 2023 Singapore Motor Show

While this is indeed a piece of good news that Toyota, one of the key assemblers in Pakistan is here to stay, there are certain things that are a little bit perplexing.  First, if launched the Toyota Corolla Cross won’t be the first locally assembled hybrid SUV since Sazgar has already launched the Haval H6 hybrid which happens to be the first locally assembled hybrid vehicle in Pakistan.

Related: Will IMC Launch Local Assembled Toyota Corolla Cross in 2023?

Secondly, the ad claims that the Corolla Cross hybrid will be made with the highest level of localization. Since the decade-old 11th gen Toyota Corolla has 68% localized content, does this mean that the Corolla Cross will be more than 70% localized right from the start? And whether the local content will be limited to just bumpers, seats, plastics, etc aka everything one can touch & feel, or more technical stuff will be locally made too?

CorollaCross pk 02

Lastly, Jamali said the introduction of hybrid technology would not only add a new dimension to localization in Pakistan but would also benefit the country in terms of forex savings and reduction of the fuel import bill. This sounds good since if hybrids in the passenger car segment are really going to cut down the import bill, why not begin with options which are considered more suitable & affordable for the masses such as the Aqua hybrid or the new Yaris Cross hybrid instead of a more expensive Corolla Cross that is targeted for the elites?

Related: Some Car Assemblers May Exit Pakistan- Says IMC

Even in the Japanese domestic market, Toyota hybrids are considered the most economical with 7 out of the top 10 most fuel-efficient hybrid cars in Japan. Interestingly in terms of fuel efficiency, the Corolla Cross is not even there on the list. This makes us wonder why IMC hasn’t decided to begin its hybrid operations in Pakistan with more fuel-efficient options if saving the fuel import bill is one of the core motives.

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This is quite understandable that an expensive Toyota Corolla Cross having just a hybrid badge and not required fuel efficiency on the menu, and with a handful of sales won’t do much to contribute either towards improving the environment or bringing down the fuel import costs. At the end of the day, while Toyota’s investments regarding hybrids in Pakistan are no doubt promising, it needs to be a little more realistic in making claims that are easily digestible for most of us.

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