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Bangladesh Honda Private Ltd seeks govt co-op for motorcycle manufacturing

hBangladesh Honda Private Ltd, a joint venture of Japan’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer Honda Motor Company and Bangladesh Steel Engineering Corporation, has sought further cooperation from the government to facilitate motorcycle manufacturing in the country.

BHL has made the appeal to the government at a press briefing organised on the occasion of inauguration of sales of Honda motorbikes in the country, which started on Friday(27 December 2013).

A total of six models ranging from 80cc to 150cc motorbikes will be sold in Bangladesh through authorised dealers, the company said at the press briefing held at Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel in the capital.

Of the six models, only CD 80cc motorcycle is assembled at its Bangladesh plant while the remaining five models are imported from neighboring India, they said.

BHL was established under an agreement signed in September 2012 between BSEC and Honda Motor Company to assemble and later manufacture motorcycles in Bangladesh.

The company was supposed to start motorcycle manufacturing in Bangladesh after successful completion of three years in assembling.

Replying to a question as to when the company will exactly start motorcycle manufacturing in the country instead of merely assembling, BHL managing director Yoichi Mizutani said that the government was yet to show any interest in this regard.

‘The government has yet to inform us about the possible duty structure and benefits the company will get if it goes for manufacturing,’ he said.

The government has also to say about providing us land for manufacturing as BHL cannot start manufacturing in its existing factory established in Gazipur on a very little space, he said.

‘We are requesting the government to let us know about the benefits related to duty structure and other schemes,’ Mizutani, also chief executive officer of the company, said, adding that BHL, however, has specific plans regarding starting manufacturing.

Regarding assembling of motorbikes of other models, he said that though the company was assembling only CD 80cc now, gradually they would start assembling other models as soon as possible.

CD 80cc motorbikes are being assembled on a small scale since October.

BHL has already opened two dealer showrooms, one in Tangail and the other in Jamalpur, for selling Honda motorcycles and spare parts and gradually showrooms will be opened at other locations across the country.

Mizutani said that BHL would provide a wide range of services including sales of parts and regular maintenances.
He said that Bangladesh had a tremendous potential for motorcycle marketimg as in 2013 around 2 lakh motorcycles were sold in the country that might reach to 10 lakh a year by 2023.

Currently, motorcycle penetration is very low as a motorcycle was sold in every 300 people.

Motorcycle penetration can be increased by manifolds in coming years.

According to BHL, CD 80 motorcycles will be sold in the country at Tk 94,900 while the price of other five models will range from Tk 1.44 lakh to more than Tk 5 lakh.

The initial paid-up capital of the company is Tk 61 crore, and Honda owns 70 per cent of the shares of the company and BSEC the rest.


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