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At the 10th Pakistan Auto Show, which was held in Lahore last month, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed the importance of Pakistan regaining its status as one of 16 countries in the world where a car is conceived, designed, assembled and sold.
This announcement, along with reports that Pakistan’s first Automobile Industry Development Programme (AIDP), which is expected to facilitate local car production and assembly, will come into being soon, has sparked a debate on reviving the Revo – the first car designed and manufactured in Pakistan.
Revo was designed by Feroz Khan and manufactured by Adam Motors in 2005. It was priced at Rs 296,000. Features included an 800cc engine and a large radiator (unusual for an economy car) to prevent the engine from overheating during the Pakistani summer. Revo had a top speed of 150 km/h.
Adam Motors anticipated sales of at least 80,000 units in the first year, due to the Revo’s low price. The company also expected to export it to Bangladesh and India. However, only 600 units were sold.
This is believed to be primarily due to a lack of government support (it had initially committed to buying 10,000-20,000 units per year but the deal did not go through), difficulty in procuring spare parts and customer averseness to experiment with a ‘Pakistani’ car. As a result, production of the Revo ended and Adam Motors declared bankruptcy in 2006.
However, Khan believes that Adam Motors may re-launch the Revo in 2015, if the Automobile Policy (expected to regulate imports, exports and taxation in the automobile sector) and the AIDP come into being.
According to Khan, if it is re-launched, the Revo will be priced at approximately Rs 600,000 which, while being nearly double the price of the car (2005), is still substantially lower than other cars available in Pakistan and may therefore attract middle income consumers, aspiring to own a low-budget yet spacious car.
– Ayesha Shaikh
First published in the ADBUZZZZ Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on April 6, 2014.