“Roma Automobile Company”(RAC)
Roma Automobile is a sister concern of “Roma Group of Companies.” RAC has entered into an agreement with M/s. FAW (First Automotive Works) of China for the manufacturing and assembling of Light Commercial and Passenger vehicles in Pakistan and also export these vehicles to all countries of the world into right hand drive. In its first phase of production Roma will assemble all products at Ghandhara Nissan Limited car plant and at later stage will develop its own green field project. The planned date for the production of Roma first product (5-8 seaters passenger van) is Sept / Oct-2005.
FAW as the name shows is the “First Automobile Works of China”. The Company is largest amongst the 110 automobile companies of China. The company has several joint ventures with international Automobiles OEMs like, Toyota, Mazda, Audi, Volkswagen and others. The company has many state of the art assembly plants in China. FAW is also exporting its products to USA, Germany, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, South Africa, Middle East, Asia and South East Asia.
Roma Group of Companies was established in 1985. It has effective distribution network throughout Pakistan. It has business partnership with leading IT, OEM, i.e. HP, Intel, IBM etc, and is a sole agent of Microsoft in Pakistan. Its branches are in Singapore, Dubai & Taiwan.
Mr. Mohan Lal is the Chairman of the Roma Group and Chief Executive of the Company. He is a qualified Civil Engineer and have vast experience in Trading, and IT business.
Air Marshal (R) Riaz-Uddin Shaikh is the CEO & Managing Partner of the Company and has rich experience in Managing Projects.
Khadim H. Khoja is a senior qualified Chartered Accountant and has rich experience in the Automobile sector. He had played a pivotal role in the establishment of Toyota, Master, Dewan and Adam plants. He is serving in this company in the capacity of Sr. General Manager Finance.
Bank Alfalah, Orix Leasing, PICIC Investment Bank, Prime Bank and Muslim Commercial Bank have already started leasing of Roma Vans & Mini Trucks. Initially these vans are being imported as CBUs. After starting assembly plant they have planned to produce up to 2,500 vehicles in first year and reach to 4,000 in succeeding years. They have arranged a strong After Sales Service and Dealers network in Karachi and the main cities of the country.
It has got a very good response from Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar. In Gujranwala M/s Trust Leasing have extended cooperation for leasing Roma vehicles. “We are also negotiating to get franchise of a Chinese car in 1000cc and 800cc segments, but we prefer to make it here on joint venture basis. This will not only bring the foreign technology but investment too in Pakistan,” Khadim H. Khoja, Sr. General Manager said.
“Our both vehicles are in 1,000cc four-stroke engine, which makes them much stronger than our competitors in the market. These are petrol versions but could be easily converted into CNG. Van has factory fitted dual air-conditioning system while mini truck has heater system. So far we have sold out all the imported vehicles. Our booking procedure is based on Rs.100,000/- advance only, while balance amount is received on arrival of consignment, Khoja added.
Replying to various queries Sr. General Manager stated, “To start with local assembling we are waiting for approval of our Deletion Program from the EDB. We expect a starting deletion of 42% in Mini Bus category of less than 30 passengers and reach ISDP for category in next two years. But EDB is urging us to start with 55% Deletion and make it 65% by June 2005, which is not possible in the present circumstances.”
“Our main thrust would be, not only on the sale of vehicles in local market but we have targeted to export these vehicles after starting production. We have large number of external demands from surrounding countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Central Asia and even up to East Africa and South Africa. This right to export is already given to us by FAW, the original Chinese manufacturer. Because FAW in China is producing about 400 vehicles per day but those all are left hand drive vehicles. While we in Pakistan would produce the same as right hand drive. And the overseas market we are aiming is already of right hand drive,” he added.
Khoja further stated that FAW Company is finding it difficult to produce comparatively a small number of right hand drive vehicles at its own plant. Therefore, they are interested to let us produce such vehicles in Pakistan having joint venture with them and then strive for export market on their behalf. This facility in Pakistan would also reduce the price of Chinese vehicle because of less shipping freight on CKD instead of CBU, which costs more. Hence, Pakistan would be the launching pad of this type of vehicles for export market.
This point was already discussed with higher authorities in Pakistan who were reluctant to allow us its assembly here due to a limited market. The export marketing would not only be beneficial for local vendors but increase employment opportunities in the country. We want to increase the size of this cake for our competitors too, who had no thought of going beyond Pakistan market. We have already some export enquires in hand from various countries, especially from Bangladesh.
But in case the Govt. decides to delay or not allow us to manufacture these vehicles in Pakistan we will shift our plant to South Africa to implement upon the said marketing strategy. From there we would be able to get export market of 14 countries, Khadim H. Khoja concluded.
Roma Automobile Company Project Progress:
- Agreement / M.O.U with FAW ….. Dec-2003. Eng. Mohammad Manzoor (Executive Director Operation / GNL Plant) visited FAW Jigs plant China for design & finalization of Jigs and study the process for local assembly at GNL plant …April 2004.
- Import of sample Pickup & Van (2+2) ….. May 2004 Road test & Trials of sample vehicle with Nestle & Self ….. June 2004
- Import of parts for local Development ….. July-2004
- 1st Deletion Programme submitted to EDB at 37% ….. July 8, 2004. EDB letter forwarded to IC for views / comments ….. July 16,2004
- Letter of consent for contract Assy for local manufacturing of ROMA CA6350 Van with GNL Aug-2005. Visit by EDB Core Group ….. Aug-2004
- L/C opened for import of welding jigs & fixtures ….. Aug-2004. Resubmission of Deletion Programme after filling H.S. code ….. 18 Sep-2004
- RAC send EDB, Agreement with GNL / shipping of Jigs doc./ copy of P.O. issued EDB ….. 01-October-2004
- Technical Team has visited GNL plant in March 2005 and verified the facility. Approval of our deletion programme at 42% is expected shortly.
- In the meantime RAC is marketing CBUs.
Sale & After Sale Support Network in all over the Country:
- Al-Nafay Motors
- City Cars
- Shara-e-Faisal Motors
- Roma Abu Bakar Motors
- Arif Motors
- Essjay Motors
- Mobile Inn
- Roma Frontier Motors
Warranty and After-Sales:
Roma Automobile maintains a continuing commitment to its customers that extends far beyond the showroom. All new Roma models purchased through Roma Automobiles are backed by a comprehensive year or 20,000kms Mileage (whichever is earlier) Warranty.
To keep the vehicles well maintained, FAW trained technicians are equipped with special tools and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment.
Our established dedicated Roma workshop is in Karachi and Dealerships in other major cities like Multan, Lahore and Peshawar etc.
Availability of Spare Parts:
Roma Automobile carries only 100% Genuine FAW Parts with Roma Automobile’s guarantee of high quality and warranty for one year.
All Parts supplies are managed through our setup in Karachi, where we have a large inventory of Genuine FAW Parts particularly the everyday running items.
-Published on pages#-8-9-10-11-12 April-2005 issue of MOBILE WORLD Magazine