The Dhaka Motor Show, now in its 12th instalment, plays an important role in the automobile sector in Bangladesh, providing a platform for local dealerships to display their brand new cars and often offer up great discounts to the crowd walking in through the doors.
This year the Motor Show was held from 23rd to 25th March at the International Convention City Bashundhara, Dhaka. Organised by CEMS Global, the show attracted some of the top brands in the country, including Toyota, Honda, KIA and more. With significant discounts offered on almost all of the cars, the show-goers were presented an opportunity to get their brand new car straight off the show floor. In assisting purchases, the banking sector was well represented as well, with readily available auto loans on offer.
Navana, sole distributors of Toyota vehicles, decided to showcase three of their top sellers in three different segments – the Vios mid-size sedan, the Avanza crossover MPV and the Hiace 16-seater microbus. With discounts amounting to an average of one lakh taka slashed off each car, Navana's well-decorated stall was frequently crowded.
DHS Motors brought out the best of Honda, with their crowd-favourite 2016 Civic leading the charge. Well-equipped and one of the best cars you can buy for the money, the Civic was flanked by the new and facelifted Accord, Jazz hatchback and HRV cross-over SUV. Nearly 2 lakh taka worth of discounts were offered on each vehicle.
Local assembly experts and state-owned manufacturer Pragoti had their own display as well, with locally assembled models from Mahindra, Foday and Mitsubishi representing the nation. Suffice to say, most visitors were rid of their misconceptions about the build quality of locally assembled vehicles.
Chinese manufacturer Great Wall, makers of heavy duty pickups, SUVs and crossovers brought out the all-new Haval H6, which has a huge array of equipment on offer but comes with market beating prices like the rest of Great Wall's range. We'll be testing them thoroughly soon.
Meghna Automobiles stall displayed two of KIA's latest models: the all new Sportage cross-over and the Optima sedan. Both features updated exteriors and interiors, and we'll be looking at these new models more closely in the coming weeks.
Tata's Nano received so much attention from curious show-goers that the Indigo sedan parked next to it nearly seemed invisible. The Nano doesn't really make sense for the price it's sold for in Bangladesh, but it has seen its fair share of success as company cars.
Alongside the main hall with all the passenger cars, there were three more halls: one each for commercial vehicles, motorbikes and auto parts. The Bike Show was one of the most happening places at the motorshow, with live music, DJ's and celebrities endorsing motorbike brands. It was so crowded the air-conditioning was brought to its knees, and streams of people were seen flowing in and out the door constantly.
Overall, the Motor Show was a resounding success, and it can only get better from next year onwards.
Photos: Farhan Ahmed & Rahin Sadman Islam