PAMA says new Auto Policy is fine but immobilisers can’t be installed right away




The Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) has dispelled the impression that its members have challenged the recently announced Auto Policy of the government of Pakistan. PAMA members, as a matter of fact, have welcomed the Auto Policy and look forward to working as a team with the government and other stakeholders to achieve the objectives of the policy, a spokesperson for PAMA said.

Regarding the installation of immobilisers, the specification that has been made compulsory under the new Auto Policy, PAMA has told the government that it is beyond the control of the industry to implement the requirement forthwith due to the design modification that the installation would require in the vehicle. As an immediate solution to the problem that had popped up after July 2016 was not possible, the matter then had to be resolved by approaching the court of law for relief as the industry operations were feared to be coming to a halt.

The industry went to the court to address the emerging situation, which was taken to mean that the PAMA members had challenged the Auto Policy. The PAMA spokesperson, however, has said that the industry fully supports the measures taken under the new Auto Policy and looks forward to working with the EDB for its implementation to optimise the benefits of the policy in the larger interest of the consumers and the country.

The PAMA spokesperson pointed out that the immobiliser is an optional device to be installed in the vehicle just to prevent theft. However, there is no such device in the world that ensures foolproof security; therefore, it is a matter of choice which device is considered useful. Making this mandatory would negate the option of choice and also impose a cost that will be borne by the buyers. Above all, duplicate keys of the factory installed immobilisers may run up the cost further and inconvenience customers.

The PAMA has informed the government that installation of immobilisers should be linked with the introduction of new models or a minimum time frame be given for preparation as installation of a new device requires a technical process which takes advance planning with backward and forward linkages to the technology and supply chain; therefore, changes cannot be introduced right away. The June 29th notification, however, had called for the installation to take place from July 1st.

The PAMA spokesperson further said that the OEMs’ operations currently have several thousand cars at various stages of production and supply chain.

“It is impossible for them to immediately comply with this condition as these vehicles have already been partially assembled while the OEMs have a stock of kits which they had already imported and have also already ordered and opened letters of credit for other kits, which are due to arrive soon without the provision of immobilisers.”