Master Changan Motors, a noteworthy Pakistani-Chinese collaboration, has initiated the export of its Oshan X7 mid-size crossover to Kenya.

The sight of containers laden with Oshan X7 vehicles en route to the port in Karachi has confirmed this export venture.

Reliable sources affirm that a substantial quantity of Oshan X7 SUVs will soon grace Kenyan roads.

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While the official announcement of this export endeavour is yet to be made, it is anticipated to be unveiled at a ceremony scheduled for October 12, hosted at their Karachi manufacturing facility.

In the past, Changan Pakistan’s CEO, Danial Malik, articulated the company’s intention to export right-hand drive vehicles initially designed for the Pakistani market to various other regions.

Historically, the parent company produced left-hand drive vehicles exclusively for its domestic clientele.

Danial Malik also emphasised that Changan’s Pakistan-assembled vehicles would find their way to distributors in South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, and other countries where right-hand drive vehicles are customary.

This development unfolds against a backdrop of considerable economic challenges confronting Pakistan, including soaring inflation and the burdensome cost of conducting business. Exacerbating the situation, interest rates are presently at historic highs, resulting in decreased demand for automobiles.

Furthermore, car prices within Pakistan have surged significantly, amplifying the financial strain on hard-pressed consumers.

In response, the government has been strongly encouraging the automotive sector, which is heavily reliant on imported materials, to bolster its exports. The initial objective was to achieve 2 per cent of the total imports, a target unmet in FY23.

According to Samaa, in May 2022, Pakistan marked a milestone by exporting its first vehicle crafted by Master Changan Motors under the newly implemented Auto Industry Development and Export Policy (AIDEP 2021-26). Notably, Pakistan stands as the sole country outside China to manufacture the latest Changan Oshan X7 model.

Concurrently, the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) disclosed on October 11 that car sales in Pakistan had risen by 10 per cent in September compared to the preceding month, with a total of 8,312 units sold. 

Nevertheless, this apparent short-term upturn can be attributed to improved access to raw materials, whereas the year-on-year data indicates a substantial 26 per cent decrease in sales for the corresponding period.