Pakistan’s automotive industry has been making headlines, with journalists commenting on and taking jabs at the practices being observed by the industry.
Recently, Malik Nadeem — a famous journalist, media personality, and the President of SAMAA TV — made a bold remark on Twitter, stating that the automakers in Pakistan are charging millions of rupees in advance from car buyers as a part of an “organized plunder”.
Malik tweeted that automakers are charging “hundreds of billions of rupees” from car buyers as a part of a malicious scheme while being in cahoots with government officials.
He implied that the automakers charge buyers a significant percentage of a car’s actual price as the booking amount and then use this money for six months. His tweet read: “If the booking is made at 1% of the price, and 99% paid on delivery, they’ll provide cars within days”.
Malik further stated that the automotive industry “mafia” is also responsible for allowing the import of decommissioned Japanese cars to “meet the demand” of the market.
He said, “The junk is imported & sold in the name of Japanese cars. Mafia pockets the money twice. Importers & assemblers both oblige the officials & ministers, who also lobby for it”.
Are These Claims Valid?
There are a few prevalent facts in the global automotive industry explaining the delays in the deliveries of vehicles all around the world, including the Pakistani market.
The first one is the COVID-19 induced logistical handicaps. The scarcity of containers has caused a problem in the transportation of vehicles and their parts to the manufacturers, which has been a huge headache for automakers around the world.
The second is the shortage of semiconductor microchips. These chips are a significant component in modern vehicles as they modulate numerous functions in them, including the infotainment systems, and in some cases, even the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) functionality. This issue is also likely to lead to price hikes across the international automotive industries.
Automakers around the world are facing operational hiccups on account of these issues. The explanations are more widely acknowledged from a global perspective and clash with the statements of Nadeem Malik.