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IMC Prepares to Introduce the Corolla Cross Hybrid to Revitalize the Market

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Indus Motor Company (IMC), renowned as a Toyota car assembler, is set to make a significant impact on Pakistan’s automobile landscape. In a bold and strategic move, IMC plans to launch the Corolla Cross hybrid car by late December or early January. This endeavor not only aims to address Pakistan’s soaring fuel prices but also contributes to environmental sustainability.

Fuel Efficiency and Economic Impact: The Hybrid Advantage

IMC’s CEO, Ali Asghar Jamali, highlighted the Corolla Cross’s remarkable fuel efficiency, projecting a 50% reduction in fuel consumption compared to conventional petrol and diesel vehicles. Additionally, the incorporation of hybrid technology is expected to significantly cut down the import bill, with an estimated annual saving of approximately $37 million from 30,000 hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) units.

Jamali emphasized, “HEVs offer a sustainable solution to Pakistan’s economic challenges, aligning with macroeconomic objectives, boosting employment, increasing exports, and reducing imports.”

Investment in Hybrid Technology: Local Assembly of HEV SUV

IMC has already invested $100 million to bring HEV vehicles to Pakistan. The company is gearing up to introduce the country’s first locally assembled HEV SUV, the Corolla Cross. Anticipation is running high as the vehicle is expected to hit the roads by late 2023 or early 2024.

Environmental Impact: Mitigating Carbon Emissions

Apart from economic benefits, HEVs hold great promise in reducing carbon emissions—a pressing concern in Pakistan, where fossil fuels account for 62% of the energy mix, compared to 75% in India. Jamali stressed the urgency of comprehensive measures to combat climate change in Pakistan.

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Challenges in the Auto Industry: Economic Factors and Import of Used Cars

Despite the promising move towards HEVs, the overall demand for automobiles in Pakistan remains subdued due to economic challenges. Jamali projected industry-wide monthly sales of approximately 6,000 vehicles, with IMC. Contributing around 1,500 vehicles per month over the next 12 to 18 months. Economic factors, such as a weakened Pakistani rupee and increased car financing costs, have led to higher vehicle prices, dampening consumer demand.

Jamali expressed optimism, saying, “Should agricultural income show improvement around November, we could witness an uptick in demand.”

IMC experienced a significant 58% decline in volumetric sales from January to June 2023, primarily attributed to these economic hurdles.

Additionally, the influx of used car imports poses a substantial threat to the local auto industry. In the fiscal year 2022-23 alone, more than 6,000 used cars were imported. With over 1,800 units arriving in May and June. Jamali urged the government to curtail the import of used cars, emphasizing the importance of supporting the local auto industry. He argued that allowing such imports contradicts efforts to promote domestic car manufacturing and localization, potentially hindering future plans.

Commitment to Employees and Challenges with Import Letters of Credit

Despite supply-side uncertainties, IMC remains dedicated to its employees. Refraining from layoffs—a testament to their commitment to the country and its workforce.

Jamali also shed light on the challenges arising from import Letters of Credit (LCs). Affecting the industry’s production capabilities and ultimately dampening sales. He stressed the importance of a well-structured import policy for the growth of the local auto sector.

Conclusion: IMC’s Vision for a Greener and Economically Robust Pakistan

IMC’s introduction of the Corolla Cross hybrid represents a pivotal moment for Pakistan’s automotive industry. By addressing economic challenges, environmental concerns, and import-related issues. IMC is pioneering a path toward a greener and economically robust Pakistan. All while staying committed to its employees and the nation’s progress.

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