Ifad Autos Limited is going to manufacture a thousand air-conditioned (AC) and non-AC luxury buses every year. These vehicles will be less expensive than the imported ones and easily available.
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun inaugurated the operation of an Ifad factory in Dhamrai upazila of Dhaka district.
Buses made by Ifad will cost Tk70-90 lakh each, while if those are imported, each one will cost Tk1.30 crore, according to Ifad officials.
It takes about 3-6 months to import a bus. But the Ifad factory, once its operation begins, will be able to deliver buses quickly meeting the demand of local customers, said Iftekhar Ahmed Tipu, chairman of Ifad Autos Limited, at the launching event.
Ifad has set a target to deliver 1,000 buses a year initially, but there is a plan to expand the production.
Tipu said the company had so far assembled buses and trucks. Now, it will make the bodies of luxury AC and non-AC buses.
Against the backdrop of a lot of money going into importing vehicles, Ifad set up the factory at a cost of Tk40 crore.
Both local and foreign parts will be used to manufacture buses at the Ifad factory, which will create scope for small specialised local industries to deliver their products to the Ifad factory.
Ifad Autos Limited started an assembling plant in 2017 aiming to deliver 12,000 buses and trucks of different models of the Indian Ashok Leyland brand.
The government aims to produce low-cost vehicles of international standards in the country, the industries minister said.
An automobile industrial development policy will soon be finalised, he said, adding that Bangladesh will become a regional automobile manufacturing hub by 2030.
The government declared the year 2020 as the year of light engineering. It has been supporting local and foreign investors to elevate the country into an industrially developed nation by 2041.
Ifad Autos, listed in the stock market in 2015, has been contributing to the transport sector for three decades, Minister Nurul Majid said.
"Because of the high quality, products made by Ifad Group are exported to 32 nations and have also gained trust of the people," he added.