The post-shutdown recovery trend is expected to improve further in 2021 as vaccines increase optimism in fighting the virus and keep the wheel of the economy rolling.
The automobile industry is one of the hardest-hit sectors in 2020 due to the pandemic. And, except two wheelers, no category saw their demand to recover up to the pre-shutdown level. Nevertheless, we are optimistic that 2021 will be a better year for the automobile sector.
Most importantly, the mid- and long-term potential of Bangladesh – as a combined automotive and two-wheeler market – is a great source of trust among entrepreneurs.
Uttara Group firmly holds its investment plans for the coming days – be it for strengthening its Bajaj motorcycle market leadership or building a car assembly plant.
Bajaj meets almost 40% of the motorcycle demand in Bangladesh, and Uttara Motors already has three large plants to manufacture and assemble motorcycles.
We will continue with the car assembling plan under technical collaboration with Japanese Suzuki, which occupies more than half of the Indian market. But we need a supportive automobile policy which is in a positive direction till now.
Commercial vehicles are the segment to lag most in demand recovery after the shutdown. Sales of buses, trucks and pickups are still below halfway to the pre-Covid-19 level, while sales of passenger cars are a little better. Three-wheeler sales are also down compared to what it was in recent years.
We are expecting each of these segments to grow in 2021.
Nayeemur Rahman, head of business planning, Uttara Motors Ltd.