Al-Futtaim group will “shortly” be confirming new Renault dealers in Pakistan, Gulfnews reported. Building the dealership network will move in tandem with the opening of a new plant in Karachi to assemble Renault models for the Pakistan market.
Len Hunt, President of Al-Futtaim Automotive said:
“The expectation is that the construction of the plant will commence in the first quarter of 2018. The finalisation of the transaction remains subject to a number of conditions, mainly relating to relevant regulatory approvals from Pakistani authorities.”
If everything goes according to plan, sales of the assembled models could start from 2019. Details such as the investments and the future production capacity at the Karachi plant have not been revealed.
This would be Al-Futtaim’s second venture in Pakistan, where it also makes tractors and generators through its subsidiary Al-Ghazi Tractors.
Len Hunt declined to name the Renault models that will emerge out of the Karachi plant. However he added:
“We have an exciting Renault product line-up for the Pakistani market. And the products we introduce will be built to the same specifications as in Europe. The information on the model line-up will be confirmed in due course.”
The Renault plant will be wholly-owned by Al-Futtaim Automotive, which has secured “long-term, exclusive agreements” with the French carmaker.
The Pakistan move represents quite a big step-up for the UAE business. It own stakes in car manufacturing operations in Kenya and Egypt, but this will be the first time it is moving into a new territory with a fully-owned venture. The timing of the move into Pakistan seems quite favourable too, as between July and end October, just over 70,000 new cars were sold in the market.
Consumer demand seems to be running at fairly stable levels, and the economy too has been humming along for the better part of the last two years.
Len Hunt further added:
“We will confirm the details of the independent dealers and showrooms. Pakistani consumers can expect to see world-class Renault sales and after-sales facilities. Al-Futtaim has maintained a strong and mutually supportive partnership with Renault over many years.”
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According to sources, the Karachi plant will start off by assembling Renault’s small and mid-size cars. It would be interesting to see whether the line-up will also include the maker’s smaller SUV models as well.