The government of Pakistan is evidently in an aggressive and speedy pursuit of normalizing Electric Vehicles (EVs) in Pakistan. By virtue of the incentives provided to the EV segment in the 2021-22 financial budget, a large number of international EV makers have now turned their attention to Pakistan’s automotive market.
Not many companies have actually entered the market yet, but one, in particular, has quietly cemented its place and is poised to monopolize the market for a long time. This company is Morris Garages (MG) Pakistan.
One of its key stakeholders — Javed Afridi — is a very vocal proponent of the normalization of EVs, and under his leadership, the company has primed itself to adapt to the impending increase in the demand for EVs across Pakistan.
MG has taken some important steps that will allow it to dominate Pakistan’s EV market. Let us look at some of them:
First Mover Advantage
Having the ‘first mover advantage’ in the local EV market allows MG to have an open playing field to try out various operational, marketing, and selling tactics. This will also enable it to analyze the needs and desires of potential buyers, and learn and adapt to the challenges in the market.
In terms of perception building, it is safe to say that MG has established itself quite well.
MG is already reaping the benefits of being an early mover in the EV market via the expansion of its physical and marketing footprint across the country. Ever since its debut, it has inaugurated several dealerships in major cities, and is in the process of adding more to its strong network.
A better showroom and dealership network also increases the desirability factor among car buyers. It implies that, in the future, owning an MG vehicle will be easier as maintenance will not be much of a hassle.
Furthermore, the company has engaged in arguably the best social media marketing of all the new automakers in Pakistan, resulting in it garnering significant popularity that has boosted the sales of its vehicles.
Evidently, these tactics are also likely to serve the automaker upon the launch of its EV in Pakistan.
The Only EV Maker with a Local Assembly Line
MG is the only automaker in Pakistan with a local assembly line for EVs, giving it a huge advantage over the others. This implies that only MG will capitalize on incentives like:
- No value-added tax on the import of Completely Knocked Down (CKD) kits.
- One percent tax on the import of EV parts.
- One percent GST on locally assembled EVs.
While the benefits for passenger EVs are set to last until June 2026, MG already has a leg up on the potential new entrants in the market.
A Secret Weapon
The MG ZS EV will soon be launched in the Pakistani market but it may not be a major cash-grabber for the company because of its lofty price tag.
Although MG has not said anything about the launch of the vehicle, Afridi has already teased the tiny Wuling Hongguang Mini EV to the people of Pakistan. This EV is a product of SAIC Motors and General Motors that was originally introduced in the Chinese market in early 2020. It went on sale in July 2020, after which 160,000 of its units were sold by January 2021.
The reason for the impressive sales is the price tag of just $5600 (around Rs. 856,000).
Although the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV is a very basic little car with a 13kW single electric motor and no airbags, it has other stunning features such as ABS brakes, rear parking sensors, an AC, power windows, a stereo system, and 741 liters of trunk space with the rear seats folded down, which makes it a perfect city EV for Pakistani buyers.
With that said, the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV will be a great addition to the young EV market of Pakistan.
The world’s transition to EVs is inevitable, and Pakistan is finally ready to do so with MG in the lead. However, ensuring sustainability will be based on maintaining the top standards in terms of product quality and customer services. For now, MG is the only standard-bearer among the locally assembled EVs, hence the current state of its monopoly of the EV market. However, this monopoly could be easily broken if a better player dethrones the Chinese automaker.
All in all, the prospects for the EV market certainly look exciting, especially from the perspective of a car enthusiast.