2020-02-19 18:18:31 BdST

Govt plans automatic car assembling unit for Pragoti


The government has taken an initiative to set up an automatic assembling unit for Pragoti Industries Limited (PIL) to assemble car, bus and truck in the country as part of its plan of making the company a progressive manufacturing firm.

There will be four production lines in the plant with a state-of-the-art paint shop, body shop, press shop, machine shop, assembly and sub-assembly line, chassis line, trim and final assembly line and quality control facility, according to the plan of the industries ministry.

Pragoti, the state-run automotive factory, will assemble jeep and pick-up, sedan car, bus and minibus, and truck and mini-truck in the new unit, it said.

Officials said that the ministry had already appointed South Africa-based consultant firm Automotive Investment Holdings (AIH) to prepare a feasibility report on the plant.

The plant may cost between Tk 3,000 crore and Tk 3,500 crore, according to the primary estimation of the ministry.

The firm has already submitted the inception and commercial study report to the ministry and the report found setting up the new plant financially viable having potential to enter into progressive manufacturing in future.

It will also submit its final report containing detailed lay-out, drawing, design, estimation and a list of required machinery and equipment by May this year, they said.

PIL managing director Md Touhiduzzaman said that they would submit the development project proposal (DPP) to the government for approval by the same month after getting report of the consultant firm.

Pragoti will complete the construction of infrastructure and establishment of machinery by next two years after getting approval of the government, he said.

He said that there was huge demand of private vehicles in the country and the demand was met by imported reconditioned cars and costly new cars.

PIL will produce sedan cars to capture a significant portion of the market share, he said, adding that private dealers would also get scope for selling the cars.

The annual assembling capacity of the plant will gradually be increased up to 70,000 units.

The plant will increase the share of Pragoti in motor vehicle assembling to at least 20 percent from the current 5 percent.

PIL will also be able to produce world-standard vehicles at the planned unit.

The existing plant having annual 1,300 vehicles assembling capacity is 54 years old.

No renowned global vehicle manufacturer except Mitsubishi Motors Corporation of Japan shows interest to set up a joint assembling project with Pragoti due to the old assembling plant.

Pragoti mainly assembles Mitsubishi Pajero Sports QX Jeep in its plant in Chattogram after importing the vehicle at CKD (complete knock down) condition under a long-term agreement with Mitsubishi.

Recently, it also started assembling Mitsubishi L-200 double cabin pick-up on test basis and the commercial production will start from March this year.

It also supplies jeeps, bus and truck of different brands of Japan, China and India on demand.

State-owned Pragoti will gradually turn into a progressive manufacturer following parts deletion method and developing backward linkage industries to produce local-brand cars in the country.

It is also planning to set up a factory in its own land purchased from Bangladesh Can Company in Chattogram to manufacture spare parts for the automotive industries.

Pragoti in the last fiscal year of 2018-2019 assembled 1,473 vehicles and sold 1,448 vehicles worth Tk 734 crore.

Since its inception in 1966 it has assembled and marketed more than 50,000 vehicles such as cars, jeeps, buses, trucks, pickups, ambulances and tractors of various models by importing CKD.

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