Malaysian car manufacturer PROTON handovers X70 to Pakistan government to fulfill the promise made by the Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Prime Minister Imran Khan during his visit in Pakistan earlier this year.
Malaysian High Commissioner to Pakistan His Excellency Mr Ikram Mohammad Ibrahim and Director of International Promotions PROTON En. Khalid Yusof handover Proton X70 to Advisor to Prime Minister for Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production, and Investment of Pakistan Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood who receiving on behalf of the Pakistan Government at the handover ceremony held in Islamabad.
Chairman ALHAJ Automotive Mr. Al-Haj Shah Jee Gul Afridi known as the official distributor for Proton vehicles in Pakistan also presents in ceremony.
The Proton X70 launched on 12th December 2018, has captured the attention of Malaysians who have gathered to buy the first premium SUV from a national automotive brand. With over 25,000 units already delivered and export sales already beginning in Brunei, the Proton X70 is the catalyst that leads PROTON’s efforts to establish itself as a global automotive brand.
Production activities of PROTON cars in Pakistan are scheduled to begin in 2021 with plans being formulated for the assembly of several models in the country. Work is underway at a Greenfield site in Karachi to build a new plant that will be owned and operated by ALHAJ Automotive.
En. Khalid Yusof said “PROTON sees a lot of potential in Pakistan and as Malaysia is the only Muslim country to have its own automotive brand, both our countries are natural partners who have so much to share with each other. The Proton X70 has won several awards at home and we hope that eventually, it can accomplish the same feats when it arrives here”.
His Excellency Mr Ikram Mohammad Ibrahim speaking on the potential for improved business ties between the two countries said “The High Commission of Malaysia is supportive of the efforts between PROTON and ALHAJ Automotive to sell and then assemble Proton vehicles in Pakistan. Such commercial activities will contribute towards fostering closer and stronger economic ties between the two brotherly countries. Malaysia certainly looks forward to welcoming Prime Minister Imran Khan when he arrives in Kuala Lumpur for the 2019 KL Summit later this week.”
By building an assembly plant in Pakistan with ALHAJ Automotive, PROTON hopes to take advantage of reduced duties for CKD vehicles in the country. This will assist the Company in achieving its long term goals to sell 400,000 vehicles by 2027.
The new CKD assembly plant in Karachi will be built with an initial investment of USD30 million and 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.
Mr. Al-Haj Shah Jee Gul Afridi said “ALHAJ Automotive will leverage on its current dealerships located nationwide to start selling Proton vehicles as soon as possible while we developing standalone 3S/4S outlets. We will source CBU units from Malaysia to kick things off in Pakistan before switching to locally assembled units once the new assembly plant begins operations”.
Abdul Razak Dawood welcomed the Malaysian Automobile manufacturers for its pledge to establish manufacturing plant in Pakistan. He said “The PROTON cars observe a lot of potential in Pakistan and as Malaysia is the only Muslim country to have its own automotive brand, both the countries are natural partners who have so much to share with each other”.