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2 August, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Local motorcycle manufacturers set to increase market share

Sharif Ahmed
Local motorcycle manufacturers set to increase market share
This photo shows a showroom of a local automobile company in the capital yesterday displaying wide range of motorcycles. Independent Photo

The Bangladesh motorcycle market is import-oriented. However, with the government laying stress on improving the infrastructure, the local market is growing faster than ever before. Against this backdrop, local manufacturers are set to increase their market share.

According to Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) statistics, 240,000 motorcycles were registered in 2015, but the number increased to 332,000 in 2016.

Runner Group chairman Hafizur Rahman Khan told The Independent that importers dominate the entire motorcycle market. Around three lakh motorcycles are being sold in the country each year, he said.

Of them, approximately 86 per cent are imported and 15 to 16 per cent are manufactured locally, he added.

 Hafizur Rahman said the local motorcycle market is currently worth approximately Tk. 3,000 crore.

At present, two companies have started manufacturing motorcycles in the country, while 13 companies are engaged in the import of the two-wheelers, he added.

 Runner Automobiles has started exporting motorcycles and 4,000 of its bikes are going to be sold in Nepal this year.

 “We plan to export motorcycles to African and Latin American countries very soon,” Hafizur Rahman said.

 Runner Automobiles Ltd chief executive officer Mukesh Sharma said most of the motorcycles are being imported from China and India. He also said it is possible to manufacture all the parts here, except the engines.

 “If we can increase our capability, it's possible to create a revolution in the automobile industry here within two to three years,” he added.

 Asked about the challenges, Hafizur Rahman said the government has recently changed some policies to encourage the local manufacturing industry. As a result, Hero Honda, in a joint venture with the Nitol-Niloy Group, is building a motorcycle plant in Jessore.

 About raw materials, the Runner chairman said: “We make all types of metal-frame raw materials.”

Runner Automobiles sales executive Obaydul Islam told The Independent that Runner aims to make cheap and affordable motorcycles. “To make motorcycles accessible and affordable, we provide customers with instalment facilities for 12 months, 18 months and 24 months,” he said.

“The ‘Runner Duranto’ is the cheapest motorcycle manufactured by us. It's for common people. It costs around Tk 59,000,” he added.

A change in the government’s policy will enable local motorcycle manufacturers to dominate the domestic and local markets within three years, said Obaydul Islam.

The president of International Business of Bajaj Auto Ltd, Rakesh Sharma, said: “If we can locally produce motorcycles, it'd be possible to sell standard motorcycles at a cheaper rate domestically.”

Uttara Motors Ltd public relations manager Utpol Shah told The Independent: “Uttara Motors is the pioneer in importing and distributing motorcycles domestically since 1972. We've above 50 per cent of the market share at this moment.”

 Asked about local manufacturing, Shah said: “In the last two years, the market has grown significantly. To meet the local demand, we're going to develop a manufacturing plant with the support of Bajaj Motorcycles.”  

 Local entrepreneurs demand a specific tax policy for importing motorcycle raw materials so that locally manufactured bikes can be competitively priced, said industry insiders.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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