No end to woes of automobile buyers


KARACHI: Amid a boom in the auto sector, rising production and massive booking of vehicles, a number of issues relating to late deliveries, soaring prices, vehicles’ recalls, booking stoppage and non-issuance of number plates etc continue to haunt consumers.

After a possible brisk ending of the current fiscal year especially in cars and SUVs, the next first half of FY22 also appears quite promising keeping in view a huge demand and bookings in hands of the auto assemblers.

Regal Automobile Industries Ltd (RAIL) on June 5 increased prices of various vehicles.

RAIL Chief Executive Sohail Usman said the company had raised prices of Glory 580 models by Rs150,000 due to rising raw material prices and high freight charges followed by delay in arrival of ECU chips.

Late deliveries, skyrocketing prices and recalls are the bane of booming auto sector

He said the company had, however, kept the prices of other variants unchanged. Mr Usman said the prevalent macroeconomic situation facing the world as a result of Covid-19 has significantly affected input variables and subsequent increased production cost.

Indus Motor Ltd (IMC) has quietly raised the prices of Toyota Fortuner by Rs300,000-500,000 and Hilux and Revo models by Rs47,000 to Rs458,000.

The new price of Fortuner 4×4 A/T Diesel, Fortuner V 4×4 Hi (PET) and Fortuner G 4×2 Std A/T (PET) is Rs9.658 million, Rs9.308m and Rs8m.

Hilux 4×2 S/C DLESS and Hilux 4×2 S/C STD rates are now Rs3.646m and Rs3.895m versus Rs3.505m and Rs3.755m while Hilux E 4×4 D/C STD is now priced at Rs5.966m as compared to Rs5.919m.

Hilux Revo G M/T and Hilux Revo V AT now carry a price tag of Rs6.556m and Rs7.506m.

A Toyota dealer said that Revo and Fortuner prices had been increased owing to cosmetic changes and facelift in the models.

IMC, in the last week of May, also extended a special service campaign relating to “fuel pump replacement” which was initiated in June 2020.

On Tuesday, IMC assured overseas Pakistanis for getting delivery of any Toyota vehicles under Roshan Apni Car scheme within 30 days. However, one of its dealers said that for local buyers, the delivery time for Toyota Yaris is one month followed by three to four months in other models.

Hyundai recalls Tucson

Hyundai Nishat Motors Ltd (HNML) had also undertaken recall campaign for Hyundai Tucson. It had informed the owners that their vehicles may have a possible malfunction in the ABS module which could potentially short circuit and asked the owners to take their vehicles to the dealership for the installation of enhanced protective kit and upgrade the electric control unit and AVN software free of cost.

Besides suspending the booking of Hyundai Tucson, HNML has also communicated to its buyers regarding reasons of late delivery.

Advance tax collection

The Government of Pakistan, Law and Justice Division issued an ordinance (VI of 2021 dated Feb 12, 2021) that requires every Motor Vehicle Registering Authority of Excise and Taxation Department to collect advance tax from the buyers of locally manufactured motor vehicles who subsequently sell it within 90 days of delivery of such vehicle whether prior to or after registration at the rates specified in Division of Part IV of the First Schedule. The ordinance clearly states that it shall come into force at once.

Car dealers said that surprisingly, this amount is not being collected by the Registration Authority in Karachi for reasons not known. However, in Islamabad, the same is being collected. No idea of Lahore and others, they added. Secondly, neither original number plates are being issued nor the newly introduced computerised registration card that replaced the blue registration book by the registering authority and this has continued for years and years, they said. An official in a Korean car assembling units said some fresh registration plates are available while old plates are still pending.

Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2021

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