Master Changan Motors Initiates Oshan X7 Export to Kenya: A Milestone for Pakistani Auto Industry

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In a significant stride for the Pakistani automotive industry, Master Changan Motors, a joint venture between Pakistan and China, has kickstarted the export of its Oshan X7 mid-size crossover to Kenya. This move marks a pivotal moment in the company’s expansion strategy and signifies Pakistan’s growing presence in the global automotive market.

Reports have surfaced of shipping containers laden with Oshan X7 vehicles, making their way from Karachi to the port, indicating the commencement of this new venture. Although an official announcement regarding this export plan is yet to be made by the company, insiders anticipate an unveiling event at the Karachi plant on October 12.

Changan Pakistan’s CEO, Danial Malik, had earlier stated the company’s intention to manufacture right-hand drive vehicles tailored specifically for the Pakistani market and subsequently export them to other regions. Notably, Changan’s parent company initially focused on left-hand drive vehicles for the domestic market.

Furthermore, Malik disclosed that vehicles assembled in Pakistan by Changan would be distributed to countries such as South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, and other regions where right-hand drive vehicles are customary.

This development comes at a critical juncture for Pakistan, grappling with economic challenges such as high inflation rates and escalating business costs. Record-level interest rates have further impacted the demand for automobiles. The surge in car prices within Pakistan has placed a considerable burden on consumers.

The government, cognizant of the importance of the auto sector, which heavily relies on imported materials, has been urging manufacturers to boost exports. The initial target was to secure 2% of total imports, a goal which was not met in the fiscal year 2023.

In May 2022, Pakistan achieved a milestone by exporting its inaugural vehicle manufactured by Master Changan Motors under the new Auto Industry Development and Export Policy (AIDEP 2021-26). Noteworthy is the fact that Pakistan, alongside China, is the only country producing the latest model of the Changan Oshan X7. Recent data from the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) shows a 10% surge in car sales in September compared to the preceding month, with a total of 8,312 units sold. Although this short-term boost is attributed to improved access to raw materials, year-on-year statistics reveal a significant 26% decline in sales for the same period.

In conclusion, Master Changan Motors’ foray into the Kenyan market with its Oshan X7 represents a commendable achievement for the Pakistani auto industry. This strategic move not only expands the company’s footprint but also contributes to Pakistan’s emergence as a player in the global automotive landscape. It remains to be seen how this step will impact the industry and the broader economy in the coming months.

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