The Proton X70 won’t be the only model to be built in Pakistan when Al-Haj Automotive, its partner in the country, begins local production at its new assembly plant in Karachi in the third quarter of this year. According to the automaker, CKD production of the Saga will also start for that market when the facility begins operations.
It also revealed that a third model for Pakistan is on the cards, and that’s the X50. The company said that production in Pakistan will eventually expand to incorporate the new SUV, although it did not reveal the timeframe for that introduction.
It might be a while before this happens, because the company is attempting to satisfy local orders of the X50 at present. “Our main priority is to deliver cars for domestic market orders first and to address the waiting times currently faced by our customers,” it told paultan.org in a written response.
The new plant, which was announced in 2019 and was originally supposed to have begun operations before the end of last year, will have a planned capacity of 25,000 units per year. Built with an initial investment of US$30 million (about RM121.9 million), the Karachi plant is expected to create around 2,000 direct employment opportunities within the first three years of operations, with a further 20,000 indirect jobs coming as a result of the formation.
Presently, the X70 and Saga are being sold in the country as CBU models, imported from Malaysia. The X70 was launched in Pakistan last December and is on sale there in two variant forms, an Executive AWD and a Premium 2WD, priced from Rs 4,890,000 (RM131,100) to Rs 5,390,000 (RM144,500).
As for the Saga, the car is on sale in Pakistan in five variant forms, including the limited-edition Saga R3. The Saga sedan for that market is powered by a S4PE engine with a displacement of 1,299 cc, which is 33 cc less than the Malaysian model (1,332 cc). The lower engine displacement of below 1.3 litres allows the Saga to be priced more competitively in Pakistan, thanks to the tax breaks it qualifies for with this classification.
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