An agreement between the Ministry of Industries and Production and KIA-Lucky Motors was signed in Islamabad recently according to which production of light commercial and passenger vehicles will take place under Automotive Development Policy 2016-2021.
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The company will invest $ 115 million for setting up an automobile assembly plant in Karachi that will produce a wide range of commercial and passenger vehicles. As per sources, KIA-Lucky will be marketing one-ton trucks (most likely the K-series) and passenger vehicles including 1000cc Picanto, 1400cc Rio and 2000cc+ Sportage SUV & Carnival MPV.
Reportedly the manufacturing and assembling facilities will be functional in the year 2019. However KIA vehicles will be available for purchase to car buyers in Pakistan as KIA-Lucky will start importing cars in 2018.
The Auto Policy 2016-21 has opened up doors for various newcomers including Renault & Hyundai to set up assembly plants in Pakistan. In addition a flurry of Chinese automakers partnered with different groups are expected to initiate their operations by 2018/19. From the looks of it, the KIA branded vehicles will be the first among the newcomers to be made available for purchase. On the other hand, the ground breaking of Hyundai-Nishat plant is scheduled to take place on 20th December 2017.
With the kind of vehicles KIA is producing globally these days, it’s safe to say that Toyota, Honda and Suzuki will be facing some serious competition from the South Korean manufacturer and has got all the potential to sweep the market if the products are rightly priced.