'Properly repairing cars to extend their lives is an attractive business that also has a great social significance'
Three Japanese firms in automobile related industries are set to join Nobel laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank in the establishment of an automobile repair facility in Bangladesh.
Acccording to Asahi.com, the firms in question are used tire exporter Sunpower Corp, used tire seller Up Rising, and car scrapper Mogee. Sunpower Corp is based in Yokohoma, while Up Rising operates in Utsunomiya of Tochigi Prefecture, and Mogee in Miyagi Prefecture.
Through the initiative, the joint company will repair automobiles with quality parts, aiming to provide a means for workers to escape poverty in a safe and clean working environment. The facility will open in spring this year at the earliest.
“Properly repairing cars to extend their lives is an attractive business that also has a great social significance,” Dr Yunus told Asahi.com. “But the latest move marks just the beginning. I want to expand the business in the future so all sorts of waste from industry will be recycled.”
Sunpower President Takuya Kawamura, who will serve as co-president of the planned corporation, said most cars found on Bangladeshi streets are secondhand Japanese-made vehicles. But when they are in need of repairs, it is not clear where the parts are coming from.
“Selling used cars is a well-established business there, but almost no after-sale services are provided because they require much effort,” he added.
Grameen Bank and Dr Muhammad Yunus shared the Nobel Peace prize in 2006, for their business model that emphasized running businesses in a way that helped resolve social issues, such as through the micro-credit scheme.