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from this particular group do not typically possess the affordability of a brand new car which makes them

more skeptical towards the opportunity of experiencing the spirit of ownership when they travel. In some cases, an individual or a family may have to sacrifice some of their basic needs if they wish to avail their own car. The presently prevailing culture regarding mode of transportation for most of our population circles around hired auto-vehicles or three-wheelers ± automotive or human driven, public transportations and in a handful of situations self-owned motorbikes. After a significant period of life dedicated to saving enough money to buy a self- owned car, they cannot opt for a brand new car; rather almost invariably they are compelled to be satisfied with a reconditioned vehicle, a car that has been used before. More than 90% of this nominal portion of the country, having own car or a family car, run a reconditioned car. Even in numerous instances, this minimal accomplishment is largely supported by assistance from different financial institutions imposing huge interest burden on them. 1.1 The Inception of an Automobile Assembly Plant This research looks into the applicability as well as acceptability of one of the possible solutions addressing this insufficiency of the targeted middle income group. The research offers inception of a local car brand assuming the establishment of a brand new industry of car assembling in this country. As the title goes ± ³Identifying the acceptance of a local car brand for the middle income group of Bangladesh´, it clearly defines the core issue, which is to find out the level of acceptability of a probable local car brand to the targeted middle income group who currently cannot meet the unbearable expense of acquiring a brand new car. While initiating the research, the researchers came across Mr. NizamuddinAwliaLeepu, a Bangladeshi automobile designer, who has taken himself as well as the country to the international stage by acquiring a worldwide recognition and global response for his brilliant ideas and fascinating designs. Therefore, this research also incorporates finding the opportunities to utilize Leepu¶s achievements relating with the basic purpose of the research which is described above. Subsequent discussion on the theme will elaborate on the contribution of the study towards economic emancipation of the people, opportunities for innovation, social input, environmental protection, direct alleviation towards poverty alleviation and academic innovation. 1.2 Empowering People by bringing Economic Emancipation 6 This paper deals with the issue of enabling the middle income group to purchase brand new automobiles. It also aims to empower people by motivating them to avail a self-owned mode of transportation which is also beneficial for them from an economic point of view. In most of the cases, people of Bangladesh need to bear more than 120% extra of the original price of the car due to heavy taxation on car imports. The study considers price advantage of this new brand to be one of the most influential factors behind its anticipated success as its price will not include any kind of import duty at all which will enable the manufacturer to distribute cars at minimum 25% less price. This price advantage will be attributed not only to the immense prospect of making people capable of purchasing brand new cars but also to generating a solution to address their budget constraints to meet basic requirements of living which obviously summarizes the potentiality of the project to generate economic freedom for the country people. 1.3 Innovation into Perspective

This research project is highly prospective towards bringing innovation into perspective to a large extent. Being one of a kind, the commencement of an automobile assembly plant will open up new horizon for the country with wide range of opportunities to innovate. The uniqueness of the proposal is beyond any doubt. The industry can explore the technological field of automobile designing. This project has enough prospects to be the innovative approach towards economic progression of the country as it will ensure enormous savings in foreign currency reserve. In the course of the implementation of the project we can arrange an innovative academic approach towards exploration of automobile genius of this country who will be groomed and trained by Leepu. Their involvement and contribution to this industry will noticeably bring positive changes. This project is collectively a whole new package of innovation and implementation of a project like this will encourage people to provide more novel initiatives bring further possible illustrations. 1.4 Contribution towards Social Progression A gigantic industry like automobile assembly plant will undoubtedly generate ample amount of employment opportunities for both skilled and semi-skilled workforce which will positively contribute to the social up gradation of the whole nation through alleviating poverty and crime. 7 Besides, as seen from the historical data of numerous instances, creation of a local car brand results to gradual increase of duty on imported cars which subsequently sway the interest of the customer base towards the local brand enhancing the uniformity of the society. For example, the Iranian local car brand Sapa is almost invariably the only car driven by the whole nation. The successful establishment of the proposed industry will be followed by development in investment from the foreign brands who will become interested to set up their own plant in that country making the society progress consequently. 1.4 Ecological Perspective and Poverty Alleviation Opportunities During the qualitative research the researchers conducted a key informant interview with NizamuddinAwliaLeepu, apparently who also has quite similar plans, the researchers successfully revealed his intention to bring environmental cautions into consideration. He plans to re-use the scrap materials taken from old damaged cars, which he has successfully done before. He is also studying on minimum carbon diffusion mechanisms for an automobile assembly plant and intends to apply those techniques if the proposed project is implemented. These aspects of the project raise no question about the concern on environmental protection. As stated earlier Leepu also has it in his mind that he will coordinate a professional training and development program for abundant skilled and semi-skilled human resources dedicated to automobile workshops in Bangladesh. This will profoundly be a large step towards poverty alleviation as the learners will be directly selected by Leepu to work for the Industry. This will be incorporated as an academic approach which is completely new and innovative and will contribute to a large extent to the development of vocational training and education.
1.5 Uniqueness and Significance of the Study

The concept of ³Peoples¶ Car´ established successfully in several countries has projected ample opportunities for developing nations like Bangladesh. A number of developing nations are trying to capitalize on the numerous opportunities that surround the inception of a local automobile industry. With a handful of progressive role models in hand, Philippines, Uganda, Vietnam and various other developing nations are extensively investing behind the establishment of this industry. The success of Proton (Malaysia), Maruti (India) and several other instances has contributed immensely towards their appearance as sound economies around the globe. Taking 8

Uganda as an example of developing nation like Bangladesh, this research has identified some basic strategies undertaken by the Government of Uganda. They went into collaboration with Geely Motors to establish a similar set up and also providing huge facilities in the form of 300 acres of free land, an initial investment of USD 10 Million, 10 years of tax holiday and a even a dedicated port only for this industry enabling people of Uganda to save a minimum of USD 5000 per car purchased (Almost 33% of price of an imported car). Moreover, as countries like India and Malaysia are experiencing a overflow of automobile production compared to demand (almost three times in some cases), many automobile manufacturers will be interested to invest in a market like Bangladesh which has an annual demand of more than 10000 cars. The discussion elaborates the significance of establishment of a automobile assembling plant in Bangladesh which undeniably supports the issue raised through this research. A proper utilization of available resources for the proposed industry is expected to contribute positively towards further development of the nation in every possible aspects. This study will only cover the identification of acceptance level of a local car brand among the targeted middle income group which gives us the assurance about whether a local car brand will be successful to penetrate the automobile market of this nation. 2.0 SUCCESS STORY "I do to cars what the fairy Godmother did to Cinderella before she went to the ball. Only, none of my vehicles will turn ugly again by midnight." The 35-year old Bangladeshi car whiz replied to a BBC correspondent from the depths of his garage while working on his Lamborghini. It is not every day that a Bangladeshi has a chance to be ³discovered´ but one name that was showcased on Discovery Channel was NizamuddinAwliaLeepu. His unique designs were shown as well as appreciated at different auto shows which took place all around the globe. Leepu had been working in automotive body design and building technology since 1988, when he spent seven years in California as a car mechanic. He came back to Bangladesh in 1998 and spent most of his time making new cars out of the bodies of old ones, probably his own adaptation of Pimp My Ride, a popular western car show. 9 Leepu's fascination towards cars came about when he was a child and went to a car exhibition in Saudi Arabia. The maverick instantly fell in love with a Ferrari. When he grew up to realize that the price tag did not agree with his wallet, he told himself that he would some design himself a car just like a Ferrari. Unable to get the car out of his head, and unable to afford one, he

learnt the fine arts of automobile designs by himself. In 1989, he made the Leemo-bil, his own version of his dream car the Lamborghini. He then went to create some look-a-likes of Ferraris. Car lovers in Bangladesh soon got interested in his designs and whenever someone wanted unique bodyworks to go over their dusty old car frame, everyone knew where to go to. Finally Leepu has got some recognition for his distinctive car-making venture not from the government; it came from a foreign TV channel. Discovery Channel proposed that he build two unique cars within a timeframe. The proposed deadline was set at eight weeks. The whole process was to be documented and aired on the Discovery Channel. Leepu got to work and the end results were two beautiful sports cars. This whole herculean job was done to perfection by him with a whole week to spare! Nevertheless, one has to give credit to Leepu for achieving something that hardly anyone in the world has -- building two cars in seven weeks, a feat which even shocked Bernie Fineman ± the veteran in the auto trade for nearly half-a-century and who has worked with Rolls Royce and Jaguar. Over the years he got really good at it, but it eventually struck him that he didn't want to fake it any more and that he "felt like a thief". He wanted to come up with his own designs, allowing his creative juices to flow. Leepu has established a association between his designs and nature. For Awila the end product isn't the most important thing. The actual creation of the piece itself, the construction process that turns scrap into a thing of beauty, is the reward. 3.0 PROBLEM STATEMENT The designs created by Leepu has worldwide acceptance; for the creation of a Bangladeshi automobile brand targeted towards the middle income group, whether Leepu¶s recognition can accelerate the acceptability of the brand or not is unknown. 10
4.0 BIG RESEARCH QUESTION Will Bangladeshi middle income level people purchase the car made in Bangladesh. 4.1 Sub Questions 1.What are the driving factors that achieve this success 2.What type of car people are using right now. 3.To what extent affiliation of a foreign established automobile brand can enhance the acceptance level of the local brand. 4. Will the upper middle and mid-middle income groups substitute their preferences from more established foreign brands (Toyota) to a local brand. 5. Can a local brand capture the potential lower middle income market with a cheaper, due to the tax advantage, yet reliable car. 5.0 OBJECTIVES 5.1 Broad Objective: To evaluate the possibilities of Bangladeshi middle income level people will purchase the car made in Bangladesh.

5.2 Specific Objectives: 1. To identify where a local car brand will stand competing with other established foreign brands 2. To find out to what extent a local car brand can capture the potential lower income market with the price advantage. 3. To find out to what extent a local car brand can capture the potential lower income market with the price advantage. 11 .0 SCOPE

The research tries to look into the initial stages of establishment of a local car brand and the preferences of the target market. The research looks into how much will the designer¶s design can effect the buying decision of the target market and the factors that are needed to consider before designing a Bangladeshi Car Brand. 6.1 Source of Information: 1. Owners of Different Car Outlets in Dhaka 2. Middle Income group based in Dhaka a.Public Service holder b. Private Service holder c. Self Employed 3. BARVIDA (Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importer¶s & Distribution Association) 6.2 Types of Information: 1. Local brand acceptance. 2. Durability concerns 3. The extent of requirement of a stylish car 4. Features required 5. Priority features : price, feature, durability, style 6. Brand features 7. Concerns of the designer 7.0 LIMITATIONS a. The research survey was conducted mainly on the people from Dhaka of required income range. Buying preferences can be different for different for outside Dhaka. b. The research looks at initial preferences. Further research can take place in creation of a brand image for the local brand. 12
8.0 METHODOLOGY

This study assesses the utility of a local car brand to the middle income group of Bangladesh. The research is cross sectional by nature. At the first phase qualitative research was undertaken. This was covered through Secondary Literature Survey and Primary Qualitative Analysis. Two car retailers were interviewed as one had the experience of dealing mostly with corporate clients and the other having first hand experience of dealing directly with consumers. To assess the utility of cars, initially identifying the underlying factors of utility that consumers

seek from an existing imported car is necessary. Thereby, matching with those features, additional different features, which came out from a potential consumer FGD, were tested at different scenarios. The FGD participants were of same age group but having different occupation. Thus varied perception of consumers came into scenario. To assess all those factors and utilities, a structured questionnaire was prepared to test the outcomes of the discussion. The questionnaire primarily found out the need of a car to the respondent. Thereby assessing the validity of the respondents, the utilities of a car is measured. 9.0 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
9.1 Literature Review: Literature on car assembly plants or even on cars is a rarity at a national level. However Secondary data has been considered greatly from international publications. 1.Bangladesh Bank import payments: The import payments made for importing cars over last 5 years.(Import payments Archive: (http://www.bangladesh-bank.org/) 13

2. Import tariff rates: Adjusted tariff rates on the import of different parts and raw materials of automobile assembly of 2008. (Taxation Rate List: publication of National Board of Revenue (NBR) 2008) 3. Case study of Proton: the establishment of the factory of Proton, required investments and backing of the government, human resource development. 4. Geographical movement of new assembly factories and eleven assembly factors being established in India after 1990, when the government of the country focused on trade liberalizations and helped the process of foreign collaborationPublic Car Program(PCP) in Philippines where for basic car for the mass public with an under 1200 cc engine was introduced with a price ceiling 5. Geely Collaboration with UGANDA: the Uganda government, the Chinese government and the car manufacturing company GEELY came under an agreement of setting up a assembly factory in Uganda which will make cars affordable at a range of US$ 10,000; US$5000 less than any car available in the market. The government has given away 300 acre land to the company and also awarded a ten year tax holiday. 6.Case Study of SAPA: the Irani car brand, locally named as peigan, which after it¶s introduction has virtually entirely substituted its sedan car market of the country. Brand collaborations in India: India-foreign collaboration have created car brands specifically for Indian mass to make it more acceptable.e.g. Ford has created ford icon. 7.Vietnamese car market.( The Automobile Industry in Vietnam: Kenichi Ohno, Vietnam Development Forum) 14

9.1.1 Specific Findings of the Secondary Research

1. Assembly factories even enter market where they are producing more than the demand as because the south asian markets with its potential of economic growth should increase its market base in coming years. (Case of India) 2. Government needs to provide substantial support for the initial establishments and also in accumulating funds. (Case of Proton) 3. Government has to provide tax benefits, tax holidays and decreased import taxes on raw materials and heavily tax all imported vehicles. (Case of all assembly plants established after 1990) 4. Taxation study of import tariff rates of car manufacturing sub units show that even if the factory has to import all the major sub units such as the engine and the chasis from outside, the car can still have a markup price of minimum 25% less than available cars of the same engine power. 5. Bangladesh has an average light vehicle consumption of 10000 units and more making it very eligible to have its own car assembly plant given the economic growth of the country remains stable. 6.Countrylooses over US$300 million of annually for importing cars and an assembly factory can work as the potential import substitution.

7. Creation of a niche market is possible for lower mid income group who currently cannot afford a car because of high import taxes and avail public transport. 9.2 Qualitative Research Findings: In the next phase the researchers conducted the primary qualitative research to identify the fundamental aspects which are expected to affect the inception of an assembly plant in Bangladesh. The findings from primary quail are elaborated below: 15 Figure: The Benefits of Proton in Malaysia
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Bangladeshi people have not yet experienced scientific aspects and technicalities (i.e. Aerodynamics) of automobile manufacturing which is a major drawback. A feasibility study needs to be undertaken as well.
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According to manage required financial back up and land for the huge project will not be less difficult than tackling the problems created surrounding the government legislation. A professional and dedicated government body needs to be made functional to monitor_______________.
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The most vital factor will be that the car has to be economic if it targets the middle income group.
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The authenticity and uniqueness of a modified car will be one of the most convincing features, µWow Factor¶ as quoted from Leepu, in case of a locally made car.
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This industry has enough reasons to be called as a µrisky venture; as there will be questions raised regarding longevity, reliability and quality of a local brand , so these aspects needs to be addressed most carefully.
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Leepu feels the need of more automobile engineers which he believes needs to be produced more. He agrees to train the skilled and semi-skilled manpower required for the functioning of the industry.
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The ultimate goal which Leepu considers to meet is to apply the concept of µPeople¶s Car¶ tailored in a way so that it attracts the automobile customer base of Bangladesh. 9.3 FGD with some Professionals Representing Middle Income Group A focused group discussion with some young professionals, who represent middle income group provided the researchers adequate knowledge on the expectations from a local car brand. The almost one hour long session was attended by Mr. RubaiyatHasanSiraz (MNC Executive), Mr. Ruhul Amin (MNC Executive), Mr. Abhishik Paul (MNC Executive), Mr. Rubaiyyat Thakur Robin (Entrepreneur), Mr. Shakib Ahmed (Private Service Holder), Mr. AsifNewaz (Entrepreneur), Mr. MostafizurRahman (Private Service Holder) and Mr. Tarek Abdullah (MNC Executive). Findings from the FGD are listed below:

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When asked about the fundamental aspects which they find most significant while purchasing a car their response entailedo

Price
o

Brand
o

Design
o

Resell value
o

Fuel Efficiency
o

Engine Power
o

Origin
o

Serviceability
o

Availability of Spare Parts
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When asked about the preferred origin of a car most of them responded for Japanese and European Cars.
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Most of the discussants agreed that their purchasing decision might get influenced when a local car is offered at 25% less price, although a few of them demanded further reduction (up to 40%).
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Most of the participants think price for a local car should not exceed BDT 6-7 lakh.
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While asked for the required features the following came forward:
o

Design
o

Fuel Efficiency
o

Built in CNG Engine

o Easy availability of Spares o Price o Serviceability

o Resell Value ‡ The required engine power was 1500cc for the most and they expect the engine to run more than 8 km/ltr. 17 ‡ Most of the participants were willing to pay a marked up price for servicing as for originality but will not buy a local car if spares are costly. 18

10.0 CONCEPTUAL MODEL

19 Leepu¶s Success Establishment Local Car Brand Expected Features Acceptability of local brand Lower incomen iche market Pricing Origin of the car Design Brand Preference Resell Value Assurance of reliability Price Middle Income Group Transport Cost

Affordability range Switch to local brand Design acceptance Buying decision changing ratio Designing Local brand Transport Preference Feature Preference Origin Preference Design Preference Modification Preference Designer Effect Income transport Maintainability

Preference DifferencesD Sd Brand Preference Tax Advantage Transport Cost Pride Concerns