Foton Motor, a Chinese vehicle manufacturer, will set up a plant in Bangladesh by next year to assemble commercial vehicles, a top official of the company said yesterday.
“The market for commercial vehicles in Bangladesh is very potential as the demand is increasing in line with the country's consistent economic growth,” said Chang Rui, president of Foton International.
He was talking to The Daily Star after the signing of an exclusive dealership deal with local ACI Motors at the ACI Centre in the capital for marketing Foton vehicles.
Rui did not disclose the amount Foton will be investing in the assembly plant.
At present, the country's market size for commercial vehicles is about Tk 4,200 crore a year and the segment is dominated by Indian vehicles. Japanese vehicles used to control the segment a decade ago.
ACI Motors believes that this partnership will enable it to grab 10 percent of the market of commercial vehicles within the next three years, according to Subrata Ranjan Das, executive director of the company.
He said they would launch the commercial sales of Foton vehicles in November this year. By signing the agreement, ACI Motors has become the sole distributor of a wide range of commercial Foton vehicles like pick-up van, double cabin pick-up, school van, dump truck, transit mixer, bulk cement carrier, fire service vehicle, cleaning vehicle, and heavy crane.
Kazi M Aminul Islam, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, said the investment would help develop the private sector.
“I hope Foton's entry into the country will help Bangladesh adopt new technologies and business knowledge,” he said.
FH Ansarey, managing director of ACI Motors Ltd, said the motors business was significantly associated with the movement, speed and growth of Bangladesh.
“ACI Motors inspired people to jump from bull carts to power tillers, power tillers to tractors and now tractors to high-speed four wheelers. It was our long cherished dream to initiate this business,” he added.
Ansarey and David Lee, executive vice president of Foton Motor for South Asia, signed the agreement.