Khalid (left) explaining some features of the X70 to Abdul Razak as they sit inside the SUV.
ISLAMABAD: Proton presented a fully imported X70 to Pakistan at a handover ceremony here ahead of local assembly of the SUV in the country.
The first unit of the X70 was earmarked as a gift to Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan as requested by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during his visit there in March.
Work is under way at a site in Karachi to build a new assembly plant that will be owned and operated by Proton's Pakistan distributor Alhaj Automotive. The plant will start operations in 2021.
Proton is taking advantage of reduced duties for locally assembled vehicles in Pakistan as part of its long term goal to sell 400,000 vehicles by 2027.
Alhaj Automotive is investing US$30mil (RM124.25mil) into the new plant, which would create 2,000 jobs in its first three years.
“Alhaj Automotive will leverage on its current dealerships located nationwide to start selling Proton vehicles as soon as possible while we develop standalone 3S/4S outlets," said Alhaj Automotive chairman Al-Haj Shah Jee Gul Afridi.
"We will source CBU units from Malaysia to kick things off in Pakistan before switching to locally assembled units once the new assembly plant begins operations.”
Present at the handover ceremony were Malaysian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ikram Mohammad Ibrahim; Pakistani advisor (Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production and Investment ) to the Prime Minister Abdul Razak Dawood; and Proton director of investment and promotion Mohd Khalid Yusof.