Pak Suzuki Motor Company Limited (PSMCL) has asked the government to allow import of Alto parts from India so that the car, which was discontinued in July in Pakistan, can be revived.
Pak-Suzuki had converted all models of vehicles to Euro-H except Alto as its CKD kits are only available in India which meet Euro-H or Pak-H standards. The company had discontinued various cars having carburetor type engines that needed to be replaced by Euro-H compliant EFi engines from June 2012. India is the only country which is producing Euro-H compliant parts.
Shafiq Ahmed Shaikh, a spokesman for the PSMCL, told Dawn that only 159 parts of Alto, which are Euro-H compliant, are only Made in India for Alto. The company had been requesting the government to allow import of these parts from India, but so far nothing had been done.
However, parts requested to be allowed from India, were included in newly-developed negative list which later caused discontinuation of Alto, he said, adding that the negative list would be eliminated by December. He said that Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers had also urged the government that 159 parts may be removed from India`s negative list so that vacuum in 1,000cc car segment can be filled.
The PAAPAM had informed the commerce ministry that closing down of Alto production had hit 76 small and medium sized auto parts makers with an estimated annual business loss of Rs7bn. The association said that these organisations had employed over 12,000 persons and made investment of Rs2bn in production equipment, tools and dies for Alto.
The vendors said that India is the only country where Euro-II Alto parts are available and Suzuki Japan has now made India an investment centre for Research and Development (R&D) and engine manufacturing. Shafiq said the company had already asked the commerce ministry that it supports trade with India as it would provide a large market for its exports and would be an alternative source of imports from other countries rather than Japan, resulting in cost benefit and reduced freight charges.
On reports of job losses in PSMCL owing to falling production and sales, he said that the company has not yet sacked any permanent employee and only 250 employees under a contractor have been asked to stop work. Currently, he said, PSMCL is in a crisis because of falling production and sales, especially due to influx of imported used vehicles, c oupled with no permission for Alto parts import from India.