[THE INVESTOR] South Korea’s second largest automaker Kia Motors plans to reenter Pakistan, according to a local partner.
Pakistan’s largest cement manufacturer Lucky Cement on Dec. 8 said it will invest 12 billion Pakistani rupees (US$114.50 million) to set up a venture and manufacture Kia vehicles in the country, in a statement submitted to the Pakistan Stock Exchange.
“We have selected a local partner and are considering resuming sales in Pakistan,” a Kia Motors official said on Dec. 9. “The knockdown automotive kits will be shipped from South Korea to Pakistan to be assembled in the country.”
The new firm will take part in assembling, marketing, distribution, sales and after-sales service, import and export all types of Kia Motor vehicles under a license from the automaker. Lucky Cement will make investments over the span of two years, the company said.
The last time Kia Motors entered the country was in 1994 by assembling compact car Pride and small pickup trucks. But the manufacturing was halted due to slow sales.
Pakistan, with a population of 200 million people, is seeking to attract foreign automakers to boost its relatively small auto industry dominated by Japanese carmakers Honda, Toyota and Suzuki. In March, the government introduced new auto tax incentives, in an effort to woo new entrants.
French automaker Renault plans to set up an auto plant in the country by 2018, while the Pakistan government is in talks with several global automakers, including Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler, for possible market entry.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)