The country’s automobile market has witnessed rapid growth for the last several years due to the rapid economic growth, especially the passenger car segment.
Around 63 automobiles are now sold every day as per the Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (Barvida).
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) says this passenger car market has got 98% growth in the past six years.
Overall, this industry achieved 8% growth a year on an average since 2012, according to industry insiders.
The automobile manufacturing and assembling industries have not grown in Bangladesh in the last three decades because of a lack of raw materials and the backward linkage.
Now the demand for the passenger car segment is fulfilled by the imported reconditioned car.
“If the government formulates policy for establishing four-wheeler-manufacturing plants, current prices will ultimately come down,” said Habib Ullah Dawn, president of the Barvida.
At the 14th Dhaka Motor Show, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said “We do not want to rely on others. We will manufacture our own cars.”
Minister said the local market has a huge demand of automobiles so “It has to be retained by manufacturing cars locally”.
“Handing over this market to others is irrational and we cannot only depend on imported cars but” he also said.
Emphasizing on developing “own brand” instead of assembling and importing cars, he said his ministry would provide all types of cooperation for local automobile brands.
PHP Group assembles the brand’s vehicles at its Chittagong plant. So far, it has brought together three models, Preve, Saga and Exora, by importing the parts from Malaysia.
Indian automakers have a keen interest in the growing market of Bangladesh. Already, the commercial vehicles segment is dominated by India because of the competitive pricing and availability of spare parts.
However, the Indian automakers are competing with Japanese brands in the passenger car segment. They are more willing to provide high quality, brand new cars at cheap rates.
Moreover, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) is trying to motivate the Bangladesh government into formulating an automobile manufacturing policy.
Sugata Sen, deputy director general of SIAM said, “We want to make customers understand that Indian automakers are keen to help Bangladesh develop the industry locally for ensuring the best value for money.”
The present trends in economic growth, India is trying to grab a huge market potential for passenger cars with sophisticated technologies.