Bangladesh is well-known globally for its RMG and agriculture sectors; but now, as more and more companies are setting up vehicle manufacturing and assembly plants across different parts of the country, it has the potential to become the next big thing for the nation.
A sister concern of Hossain Group of Industries, Bangla Cars Limited is already assembling cars in their factory at Panchabati in Narayanganj. They have already sold a major chunk of the assembled cars this year which is being marketed as DFSK Glory -- this too without formally launching their marketing activities yet.
Unlike all the other automobile companies that are being set up in the country, Bangla Cars Ltd have plans to launch cars with their own design this year. The company is also manufacturing pick-up trucks, buses and full-sized container trucks.
Currently, Bangla Cars Limited is assembling cars with parts that come from various countries around the world, having to depend on Japan’s ISUZU company for the supply of engine and chassis parts from Indonesia. By this year, the company plans to manufacture 12 different types of vehicles which they plan to do with their own in-house designing team.
DFSK is a Chinese automaker, and currently, Maa Enterprise directly imports vehicles to Bangladesh. Bangla Cars Limited plans to build up an integrated base of production, marketing and service in Bangladesh.
The automaker has a showroom in Tejgaon which showcases their cars in different colours and variants. According to insiders, more showrooms will be launched in each of the eight divisions in the country in the first phase, followed by 30 more across the entire country.
Although the plan was to start manufacturing earlier this year, the pandemic has caused a huge delay. Bangla Cars Limited aims to eventually sell 4,000 to 5,000 vehicles a year, including electric vehicles, which they are currently working on.
This would be a massive contribution to the economy as we are heavily dependent on imported vehicles for both personal and commercial use. As the production is at a very early stage, they are looking to achieve sales volume to be 1,500 units of new cars within three years by building a state of the art factory and also offer 24-hour after-sales service.
By now, many are curious as to what kind of features the carmaker will offer its customers. Firstly, the cars are based on the DFSK Gory model, which is already in the market. As for the interior, the vehicle features an artificially intelligent virtual assistant with 100+ voice commands.
A 9-inch infotainment display for a large and enhanced interface for entertainment powered by a multimedia console controller, a navigation system and USB auxiliary ports are placed under the centre armrest for easier connectivity.
The 7-seater vehicle has ample leg space in the first and second rows. However, the space in the third row has been compromised but is still comfortably usable for children. The SUV comes with a rich audio system that ensures a delightful experience.
Apart from the entertainment features, the vehicle also offers a tire pressure monitoring system and parking sensors with a dynamic 360 degrees parking camera. All these features are usually found in more expensive cars.
As for the exterior, the vehicle comes with a 2-layer panoramic sunroof, making the interior of the car feel bigger and an automatic power trunk opening with buttons both inside and outside the car for convenient access to the trunk. A combination of an aerodynamic design language and a 6-speed CVT gearbox gives an improved power output and efficiency.
The price of the SUV is set at Tk30 lakh, which might come down significantly once they start manufacturing the entire car themselves without having to rely on imported components.
Moreover, Bangla Cars Ltd plans to launch an electric car by next year, which they are also looking into ways to export to neighbouring countries. This could be a remarkable achievement as this would be the first time ever that a Bangladeshi made vehicle will be exported. However, to meet the demand of the market, currently, the manufacturer is focusing on delivering cars from 1500cc to 2000cc.
At present, PHP Group is assembling cars for Malaysian brand Proton, and Progoti is doing the same for Mitsubishi Motors.