Master Motors, the joint venture partner of Changan Automobiles in Pakistan displayed their range of upcoming vehicles at the 2018 International Engineering and Machinery Asia Expo, being held at Lahore Expo Center.
Earlier in June, the two companies (Master & Changan) had signed the joint venture agreement that will see import and assembling of Changan branded LCVs, MPVs, SUVs and Passenger cars in Pakistan. This joint venture is expected to generate more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country.
According to the agreement both companies will jointly make a $100 million investment in Pakistan with Master Motors to have 70% stake while Changan to get 30% stake in the JV.
During the event, Managing Director of Master Motors and the CEO of Changan Automobiles in Pakistan, Mr Danial Malik while speaking to CarSpiritPK, revealed that the response they have got from the public has been surprisingly positive.
The market is fatigued, the people having no choices are tired of seeing the same cars over and over again. We (Changan) are bringing choices for the consumers and they (people) are very excited for that.
The company will immediately launch two of its models as CBUs, these will include the 1.0 liter Karvaan (6+2 seater) minivan, and the 1.0 liter M-9 pickup with a 9-feet loading deck. However the CKD assembling will commence by December which will include, the Karvaan, M-9 and the M-8 pickup which has an 8-ft loading deck. The company however plans to launch the CX70T SUV somewhere in 2019.
When asked about what will give Changan the edge over its competitors in our market, Mr Danial Malik was confident that it will be the far superior quality of Changan products. Mr Malik emphasized:
There are lowest as well as the highest grade of products available in China. Historically speaking, the Pakistani companies have gone and brought the obsolete and the lowest grade of vehicles from China. But we have gone and found the best company to work with, which is Changan. Changan is considered among the top automobile manufacturers in China with an output of nearly 3 million vehicles each year.
Mr Danial Malik further elaborated that Changan have more than 12 factories in China, and nearly 7 R&D facilities around the world. The company is also working on the L-2 Autonomous Driving, the system which has already been implemented in their CX55 SUV. Whereas Changan has also partnered with Tencent that will see the company producing an entire range of connected vehicles by 2022, while Changan also plans to produce a complete range of alternate energy (electric) vehicles by 2025. Danial Malik added:
Changan is at the leading edge of automobile innovation right now, that’s why we are very excited to partner with them and bring all those innovations to Pakistan as soon as possible.
Since Changan’s modern range of vehicles consist of turbocharged engines, including the upcoming CX70T that’s scheduled for a 2019 launch in Pakistan. We asked whether the company is prepared to face the fuel quality issues, as those faced by Honda with their flagship 1.5 liter Civic Turbo that was discontinued due to substandard fuel being sold in Pakistan. Changan’s Director Marketing Mr Shabbiruddin assured that since these (Changan) vehicles are developed to be sold in every part of the world including the third world markets, there won’t be any such issue since the vehicles have already been tested with the locally available fuel.
On asking why the company isn’t bringing in any sedan since there is a huge vacuum in the market, which is dominated by only 2 products. Mr Danial Malik said that the crossovers and SUVs are getting increasingly popular all over the world, and the consumer preference seems to be shifting from the conventional sedans to the crossover SUVs. Secondly because of the CPEC the road network, particularly the highways are improving, due to which people will prefer to have a crossover SUV rather than a sedan or hatchback.
Furthermore Danial believes the sedan market in Pakistan is heavily dominated by the Japanese and have an utmost advantage of the resale factor. So instead of going against the Japanese head to head, Changan is creating a peripheral market around it by providing an altogether better product which offers greater practicality and better value for money to the consumer.
Changan will be offering a fully loaded SUV in a similar price bracket, if not less, than that of existing sedans in the market. So consumers will be getting an affordable yet better vehicle altogether, with more features compared to the locally available sedans.
The most important aspect of the Master-Changan JV is the fact that it’s not just a joint venture, in fact Pakistan will be the first RHD base for Changan cars in the world and vehicles produced here will be exported to RHD markets including Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and South Africa.
Related: The Changan CS15 Crossover
The company will also make a rapid transition towards localization once the CKD assembling commences. Master has a huge experience of localization since having a company called Procon Engineering working for more than 25 years. Master is also the largest part supplier of the country to the major brands including Toyota, Suzuki and Honda. The company supplies more than 200 different parts including most of the interior components such as the seats, visors, roof lining, door trims, steering wheels, doors and other sheet metal parts, so it will be a lot easier for them to achieve localization than any other brand operating in Pakistan.
The company is currently developing its nationwide dealership network and aims to provide an enhanced sales, service and after sales support experience to its customers. According to Changan, Pakistan is one of Changan’s three strategic overseas markets and will receive more diverse range of products very soon.
From the looks of it the Changan range of vehicles looks quite promising and their plans related to penetrate Pakistani market are concrete. Only time will tell how well they are actually going to perform in our market. Stay tuned to CarSpiritPK for more information on Changan vehicles in Pakistan.
The story has been covered in association with DemLahoriGuys.
Changan CX70T SUV
Changan Karvaan Minivan
Changan M-9 Pickup