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Dhaka Tribune

Motorbikes face dull sales

Update : 28 Aug 2013, 08:18 PM

Motorbike sales dropped by 31% in last fiscal year compared to the previous fiscal, showed a market survey conducted by a local manufacturer.

The stakeholders think high bank interest rate against consumer loans, political violence and economic slowdown contributed to the fall in sales of motorbikes in the country.

According to the survey administered by Walton, the total sales figure of motorbikes declined to 220,000 in FY13 from 290,000 in FY12. The figure was 283,000 in FY11.

The locally manufactured motorbikes alone suffered 15% drop during the year, the survey showed.

Of the total demand of motorbikes in the country, the local manufacturers supply nearly 27% only while the imports meet the remaining 73%. Bangladesh imports the product mainly from India.

According to the industry sources, Uttara Motors Ltd, the supplier of Indian Bajaj motorbikes in Bangladesh, holds nearly 46% market share, followed by the local producers Runner 17.2%, Walton 9.9%, local assembler Atlas 16.8% and Indian TVS 9.8% in the last fiscal.

“High interest rates against bank loans and political instability can be identified as reasons behind the fall of motor bike sales,” said Lokman Hossain Akash, Chief International Marketing Officer of Walton.

He said there are a section of users who buy motorcycles taking loans from banks, but due to high interest, they didn’t go for borrowing.

Akash also believed the better road communication in rural areas could also help increase the sales of motorbikes.

Mir Hasnat Azam, Assistant Manager (marketing) of Runner Automobiles Ltd also talked the same way about the interest rate. He said bank interest rates need to come down within the reach of motorbike buyers to increase sales.

Azam also sees a hike in sales is likely to occur during the campaign of political parties for next general election which is nearing.

Meanwhile, the locally manufactured motorbikes have increased their market shares.

In the FY13, the market share was 27% from 23% in FY11. However, the share in FY12 was 32%.

“We need a separate guideline for the sector to boost the local motorbike industry, which would help Bangladesh gradually reduce dependency on the imported product,” said Lokman Hossain Akash.

Mir Hasnat Azam alleged the government is giving more facilities to the importers of motorbikes.

“Bangladesh now do not need to import motorbikes. The local manufacturers have the capacity to meet the demand,” he claimed.

Azam called for giving more importance on the sector to encourage entrepreneurs to invest.

Currently, there are two companies manufacturing motorbikes in Bangladesh.

Walton produces 350,000 motorcycles annually now while Runner manufactures 182,500.

Runner produces 500 motorbikes daily and plans to increase it to 1000 by the year 2015, the company sources said.

Runner Automobile produces 80% parts of motorbike by itself while the remaining 20% parts including seat cover chain are collected from the local market.  

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