THE FIRST KIA PASSENGER CAR
DFML plans to achieve 90 percent indegenization by the year 2015
By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Jan 24 - 30, 2000
The roll-off ceremony of first Kia Classic, 1300cc passenger car took place on January 15, 2000 at the factory site in Sajawal, district Thatta. The chief guest was J. I. Kim, Executive Vice President and President Asia Pacific region of Kia Motors Corporation. Also present at the occasion were K. S. Lee, Director Overseas KD Business Team, Kia Motors Corporation and N. H. Cho, President Samhwa Precision Industry.
The Kia Classic is offers unique features in its class. These include 5-speed manual transmission, full instrument panel, AC/heater, power windows. 4-speaker stereo system, central locking system. This is expected to attract the attention ever-demanding automobile users in Pakistan. Kia cars are being assembled in the country by Dewan Farooque Motors Limited (DFML) a unit of Dewan Mushtaq Group.
The Group has a long and enviable operational history. The Group started with a small cottage industry to manufacture garments in 1916. Toady, the group comprises of Dewan Salman Fibre, Dewan Sugar Mills and three textile mills Dewan Textile Mills, Dewan Khalid Textile Mills and Dewan Mushtaq Textile Mills besides DFML As part of its expansion and diversification Dewan Group entered into a technical licensing agreement with Hyundai Motor Company and technical collaboration agreement with Kia Motors, both the companies from South Korea. This resulted in the foundation of DFML. Dewan Group enjoys high reputation and confidence of shareholders, local and foreign capital markets and financial institutions.
Dewan Zia-ur-Rehman Farooqi, Chairman DFML in his welcome address said, "The completion of the first phase of DFML and roll off Kia Classic in a brief time is perhaps a mile stone. We have a plan to commence assembly of 5 different models within this year. At present Shehzore is being assembled at Sindh Engineering. Commencement of car assembly at Sajawal will start a new era of development of vendor units in the country and economic uplift of district Thatta. The Group plans to expand its activities into various sectors of the automobile industry."
Dewan Mohammed Yousuf Farooqi, Managing Director of the Company while narrating the accelerated pace of implementation of the project said, "DFML enjoys technical collaboration with two leading automobile assemblers from South Korea. Both the companies are the leading assemblers and control significant market share. Kia is the second largest manufacturers of automobiles and enjoys 35 per cent of the market share. DFML has already appointed 13 dealers throughout the country and the Company wishes to make Kia a household name. Efforts are being made to make Pakistan self-sufficient in automobile manufacturing. This is being done through strong relationship with vendors and cooperation among them. Kia intends to develop an industrial park in Pakistan."
"The unique design and unmatched features of Kia Classic depicts the state-of the-art equipment and incessant drive of the engineers at the factory site.. The factory has unmatched features and equipment. In the subsequent phase DFML plans to introduce robots on the assembly line", Farooqi added.
J. I. Kim said, "We are happy to back in Pakistan and committed to the deletion programme agreed with the government of Pakistan. The ultimate aim is to achieve 90 per cent indegenization by the year 2015 in progressive assembly and manufacture of automobile. We are pursuing transfer of technology and extensive training programme. We strongly believe in vendor to vendor relationship for the development of automobile manufacturing in Pakistan. Kia is on the road to recovery after it was takenover by Hyundai Motors."
A large number of executives, representatives of financial institutions and vendors attended the ceremony. The counsel general of South Korea also graced the occasion by his presence despite the fact that Sajawal is located far away from Karachi. It was also the display of the hospitality of Dewan group who ensured comfortable trip to Sajawal.