Archive : Austin Rover to make Ital cars in Pakistan

Austin Rover to make Ital cars in Pakistan

BL Austin Rover is to manufacture Morris Ital cars in Pakistan in a £20 million tri-partite venture involving Arab Gulf money and a private Pakistani company.

The Longbridge plant is to supply assembly kits and machinery for a facility near Lahore in Pakistan run by a local company, Associated Agencies, and financed by the giant Al-Ghurair group of Dubai. A Pakistan government spokesman said that the project has been approved and production is expected to start later this year. This is the first such undertaking by BL in Pakistan following Suzuki of Japan which started assembling 800 cc cars there last June. A BL spokesman confirmed that Austin Rover was involved in a venture in Pakistan to manufacture 1.8 litre medium sized diesel-powered Morris Itals and that a company is in the process of being set up.

BL envisages sending 500 kits later this year for assembly in Lahore. The British company will also set up the plant, provide the necessary machinery and train the Pakistanis. During 1985 the plant will assemble only the four-door Ital cars “leading to local manufacture over a staged period with the cars consisting of at least 85 per cent local content by them.”

The car is expected to sell at about £4,000 in its first year with the price estimated to come down to about £3,100 in the fourth year as more local materials are being used.

Keith Adams

1 Comment

  1. This project was quite serious at the time and 2 prototype Ital 1.8 B Series diesel saloons were delivered to Lahore for in market assessment. Engineers from Gaydon undertook this testing together with the local company. The cars were driven the length of Pakistan from Lahore to Islamabad to Karachi and back to Lahore during March 1984.
    The same cars were also used for publicity purposes in Lahore being displayed at the Lahore agricultural show and outside the Associated Agencies office on a plinth.
    The factory plans were drawn up and the location identified, but somehow the plan to build the factory never materialised.
    The test cars remained in Lahore, but their fate is unknown.

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