Bikes up to 500cc can be made locally

Some 375,000 motorcycles were sold in Bangladesh in 2021, up 21% from the previous year, according to the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority. Picture: star

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Some 375,000 motorcycles were sold in Bangladesh in 2021, up 21% from the previous year, according to the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority. Picture: star

The government has allowed manufacturers to produce bikes with an engine capacity of up to 500cc, a move that is expected to give a huge boost to the motorcycle industry in Bangladesh and give bike enthusiasts the chance to ride higher powered two-wheelers.

The development comes as demand for motorcycles with larger displacement increases among motorcycle enthusiasts thanks to lower prices and reduced registration fees.

In the Import Policy Ordinance 2021-24, issued on Sunday, the government said motorcycle manufacturers would be able to import machinery and spare parts needed to manufacture 500cc bikes. However, it banned the importation of motorcycles over 165 cc in displacement.

AHM Shafiquzzaman, additional secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, said the government had given permission to encourage investment in manufacturing larger capacity motorcycles.

“Locally made bicycles with higher engine capacity could be marketed domestically and abroad.”

Manufacturers hailed the move, saying the liberalization will boost industry capacity.

“This is a positive development. It will attract new investment and boost the backhaul industry and supplier development,” said Taskeen Ahmed, Managing Director of IFAD Motors Ltd.

IFAD has already signed a memorandum of understanding with the British company Royal Enfield to import the latter’s famous two-wheelers.

Ahmed said the bikes with higher engine capacity are rolling on the streets of countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and European countries.

“This will create the opportunity to export components to the global market.”

Previously, the government allowed Runner Automobiles to import machinery and components needed to manufacture bicycles with engine capacities up to 500 cc.

Thanks to the latest measure, all manufacturers would now be able to contribute components and machinery to make larger displacement bikes.

“It gave us the opportunity to market bicycles locally as well as export,” said Hafizur Rahman Khan, chairman of Runner Automobiles Ltd, one of the leading bicycle manufacturers in Bangladesh.

He explains that the function remains weak on low displacement bikes. “The whole system of a bike with higher engine capacity will be better than lower capacity ones,” Khan said.

The move will add new capacity and create new jobs, said Subrata Ranjan Das, executive director of ACI Motors Ltd, Yamaha’s local distributor.

Some 375,000 motorcycles were sold in 2021, up 21% from 311,016 units the previous year, according to data from the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority.


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