Runner to launch locally-made auto-rickshaws
Runner Automobiles is all set to launch the country's maiden "Made in Bangladesh" three-wheeled auto-rickshaw on February 11.
At least 70 per cent of the vehicle, including the chassis, body welding and painting, except for some components of the engine, is said to have been made locally through technical collaborations with Indian automaker Bajaj Auto.
In global practice, the country of origin of a vehicle is mentioned if at least 30 per cent of the components are made locally.
Experts of Bajaj have supervised the manufacturing process at Runner's factory in Mymensingh's Bhaluka and conducted test runs of the vehicle, which can run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG).
The vehicle price will come down than ones currently imported, said Runner officials. Imported auto-rickshaws can currently end up costing at least Tk 5.5 lakh.
Around 16,500 three-wheelers were registered on an average per year in the past 12 years, according to Bangladesh Road Transport Authority.
Established on about 10 acres of land with an investment of Tk 300 crore, the Runner factory can churn out 30,000 vehicles per year to meet local demand. It created jobs for 300 people.
The factory comprises modern welding lines, electrochemical painting processes, slot conveyors controlled by automation, torque controlled pneumatic guns, dynamometers and equipment to test suspensions and engines.
"I believe this plant will help revolutionise the country's automobile sector and make a significant contribution to the economy," said Hafizur Rahman Khan, chairman of Runner Group.