Bike sales soar 50pc Import duty cuts help achieve the growth: industry leaders

Motorbike sales soared nearly 50 percent year-on-year to 3.60 lakh units in 2017 thanks to a huge cut in supplementary duty on import of the two-wheeler’s components.

The duty on import of completely knocked down units of motorcycle was slashed by 25 percentage points to 20 percent in 2016-17 to encourage local assembly.

“The sales trend has so far been very good,” said Matiur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Motorcycle Assemblers and Manufacturers Association.

“This was the highest ever units of motorbikes sold in the history of Bangladesh,” said Shah Muhammad Ashequr Rahman, head of finance and commercial at Bangladesh Honda Pvt Ltd.

The duty benefit has helped local motorcycle assemblers cut prices of their produce by nearly 25 percent, which has ultimately boosted the industry’s sales figure, he said.

Only 1.43 lakh units of motorcycles were sold in 2015, he said.

Political stability has also contributed to the sales growth, said Biplop Kumar Roy, chief executive officer of TVS Auto Bangladesh.

The national motorcycle industry development policy, on which the government is now working, is expected to help the market see a spiralling growth, said Yuichiro Ishii, CEO of Bangladesh Honda.

The company—a joint venture between Japan’s Honda Motor Company and state-run Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation—started construction of a motorcycle manufacturing plant at Abdul Monem Economic Zone in Munshiganj in November last year.

The factory is scheduled to begin production in the second half of 2018, Ishii said.

“We expect motorcycle sales figure in Bangladesh to reach 10 lakh in the near future.” Uttara Motors wants to go for trial production of Bajaj motorbikes by March this year as part of its target to manufacture two-wheelers locally, said Matiur Rahman who is also the chairman and managing director of the Uttara Group of Companies.

The group is the local assembler and sole distributor of Indian Bajaj motorbikes, the market leader in Bangladesh.