Islamabad, Pakistan, 22 March 2019 – A project for the first ever CKD assembly plant for Proton vehicles in Pakistan officially began today when the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Yang Amat Berhormat Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Prime Minister of Pakistan, His Excellency Mr Imran Khan, signed a ceremonial marble plaque at an event held in Islamabad, Pakistan.
The plant, to be built at a Greenfield site in Karachi, will be owned and operated by ALHAJ Automotive, the official distributor for Proton vehicles in Pakistan and is expected to commence operations before the end of 2020.
PROTON aims to grow overseas sales to meet long term objectives
In 2017, PROTON unveiled the seven stars strategy, a roadmap to achieve their long term goals including targeting to sell 400,000 units by 2027. A major future growth area for the Company is export sales and the establishment of CKD assembly plants in overseas markets is one of the steps taken to grow those numbers.
To establish PROTON in Pakistan, an agreement with ALHAJ Automotive was inked on 29 August 2018, with the group being appointed as the sole distributor for Proton vehicles in Pakistan. To take advantage of reduced duties for CKD vehicles in the country, a plan was devised to build a brand new assembly plant.
“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,” said Dato’ Sri Syed Faisal Albar, Chairman of PROTON.
ALHAJ Automotive to invest USD30 million in new CKD assembly plant
As an established distributor and assembler of vehicles, ALHAJ Automotive has the required experience and resources to manage and grow sales of Proton vehicles in their home country of Pakistan. The new CKD assembly plant, to be built in Karachi on a Greenfield site with an initial investment of USD30 million, will create 2,000 direct employment opportunities in its first three years of operations. It is estimated that a further 20,000 indirect jobs will also be created as a result of the new plant being commissioned.
“ALHAJ Automotive is delighted to be the official distributor for PROTON in Pakistan. 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,” said Mr. Al-Haj Shah Jee Gul Afridi, Chairman of ALHAJ Automotive.