KARACHI: Indus Motor Company (IMC), the local partner of Japan's Toyota Motor Corp, unveiled its first locally manufactured cross hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) on Wednesday, aiming to tap into the growing demand for fuel-efficient and eco-friendly cars in Pakistan.
The company rolled out the fourth generation Toyota Corolla Cross HEV at its plant in Karachi, where it invested over $100 million to set up the production line. The Corolla Cross HEV is a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that offers an 1800 cc engine with the options of a hybrid or a gasoline drive train, each having low and high-grade variant options.
The launch ceremony was attended by Federal Secretary of Ministry of Industries and Production Asad Rehman Gilani, Toyota's top leadership and Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan Mitsuhiro Wada.
Mohamedali R. Habib, chairman of IMC, said the launch was a milestone for the company and the country, as it reflected the deep-rooted friendship between Japan and Pakistan and the spirit of localization.
"This milestone, no doubt, reflects the deep-rooted friendship between Japan and Pakistan. We thank all our stakeholders for their continued support and trust to make this dream of 'Make in Pakistan' come true, which is an ode to localization," he said.
Yoshiyuki Takai, president of Toyota's Emerging-market Compact Car Company and executive vice president of Toyota Daihatsu Engineering and Manufacturing, said the Corolla Cross HEV was designed to meet the needs and preferences of customers in Asian countries, where the demand for HEVs was increasing.
"Based on feedback, many HEV customers are satisfied, not only with the excellent fuel efficiency but also with the advanced driving taste of the car. We sincerely hope customers in Pakistan will love this new Corolla Cross HEV as an attractive, efficient, and exhilarating vehicle, like in other markets. Importantly, more HEVs on the road means greater carbon footprint reduction to be achieved in Pakistan," Takai said.
Asad Rehman Gilani, federal secretary of Ministry of Industries and Production, said the government was committed to supporting the auto sector's endeavors in introducing hybrid and electric technologies in Pakistan, as outlined in the Auto Policy 2021-26.
"As we embark on this journey with locally manufactured Hybrid Electric Vehicles on our roads, let's keep in mind, that the country must expedite exports as it is a vital step towards reducing the trade deficit. And I see no better partner to support this goal, than our long-term standing partner, Toyota," he added.
Yoshihisa Miyabe, general manager of Toyota's Motomachi Plant, said Toyota's commitment to quality was at the core of its brand and that every Toyota vehicle upheld its reputation for reliability, durability, and safety.
"Through rigorous testing, advanced engineering, and KAIZEN, we ensure that every Toyota vehicle upholds its reputation for reliability, durability, and safety. No matter which part of the world Toyota operates in, it strives to deliver vehicles that not only meet but exceed customers' expectations," Miyabe said.
Ali Asghar Jamali, chief executive officer of IMC, said the launch of the Corolla Cross HEV was a proud achievement for the company and reflected its technological prowess and dedication to Pakistan's progress and prosperity.
"IMC has invested over $100 million to manufacture the first Make in Pakistan HEV for local production of the 4th generation Corolla Cross HEV SUV in Pakistan, which boasts the highest-ever localized content achieved in the SUV category. Corolla Cross HEV is all about smooth, high-quality performance and efficiency, while also providing an exciting and comfortable ride. We are proud to introduce the first Make in Pakistan HEV model as it is a sure step in Toyota's commitment to Carbon Neutrality and promoting the spirit of 'ever better cars' in Pakistan," he said.
IMC has been operating in Pakistan since 1993 and has contributed massively towards the establishment of the local automobile industry, by creating its complete value chain with over 50 part manufacturers, 55 authorized dealerships, and employing over 450,000 people directly and indirectly across Pakistan.