Excellent Bangladeshi innovation
CONGRATULATIONS to the group from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology—my alma mater as Ahsanullah Engineering College, 1954—for their wonderful 100cc economical car, as reported in the weekend supplement of a local English-language daily on August 2. It can be a boon for the environment and ideal for our usually narrow urban roads.
Although the prototype cost around Tk 70,000, mass production of the car, including seat cushions, internal lining and painting, could take the retail price to around Tk 1.25 lakh. Even if sold for Tk 2 lakh, including dealers’ margin, it would be a bargain.
The best way will be for the two neighbouring assembly and metal working plant near Sitakundu industrial area (earlier part of Gandhara Industries), which should be able to manufacture and assemble the car. Major investments will be for the body forming dies and necessary jigs and fixtures for regular mass production. Off the cuff, my guess is that this investment may be around Tk 2.5-3 crore, for setting up an assembly line for this car.
The government should positively support this venture by giving special duty benefits to the plant so that as to facilitate import of sheet for body making, engine, seats, wind shield wipers, seals, brake, clutch and other components needed for production of the car.
For city driving, it should be a safer vehicle, given its smaller engine and overall size and low maximum speed. It will be dream come true to see this project off the ground, and see the first Bangladeshi designed and manufactured and less polluting car on the road.
Finally, congratulations to Dr Mahbub, Sharof, Yasin and Bakhtair for a wonderful brainchild.
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