The state of Bangladesh’s car market

With the progression of time, the car has transformed into something more than just a medium of transport. It has evolved into a symbol of modernization, a sign of greater success and financial stability. The adoption of cars globally has increased significantly. Today, as people of developing countries like Bangladesh are improving their financial status, cars are in higher demand than ever before.

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According to Bikroy – the car listings are highest in Dhaka (69.43%) followed by the Chittagong Division (19.19%) and Sylhet Division (8%). These regions host the largest cities in Bangladesh and subsequently have the greatest internet penetration in the country. The listings in Dhaka significantly outnumber those of all the other regions combined. This is not only an indication of the greater population density but also suggests that Dhaka residents are keen on replacing their old vehicles for newer ones.

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Saloons (54.81%) are by far the most popular type of car based on their listings. This class of vehicles is usually characterized by a comfortable driving experience and overall convenience. MPVs (16.78%) and SUVs (10.26%) lag behind Saloons but make up the next big chunk of vehicles. MPVs are great for carpooling or transporting small groups of people around in general. The higher than average ride height of these vehicles make them better suited for the constantly changing road conditions in Bangladesh. SUVs on the other hand are traditionally smaller and move fewer people than MPVs but are the best option for rough road conditions both inside big cities and in rural areas. A small number of Sports and Convertible vehicles are available too thus indicating that there is a niche market interested in more luxurious and often more expensive cars.

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When we take a look at the brands of cars on offer, Toyota absolutely dominates with 89.46% of all listings. This is not at all surprising given that Toyota vehicles have long offered the most reliable experience in the global car market. A car is a product that is often used for a couple decades and so customers put extra emphasis on brand reputation when making a purchase. The next three spots are shared among three other Japanese automotive giants – Nissan (4.01%), Honda (3.23%) and Mitsubishi (2.46%). Rounding up the top 5 is Korean multinational automotive company Hyundai (0.84%). Korean vehicles have recently made an appearance in the Bangladeshi market and are seeing positive response from locals. Brand new Korean vehicles tend to be more affordable than their Japanese counterparts and offer luxury features like leather seats to appeal to customers.

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The majority of vehicle listings are below 20 lac threshold. The 10-20 lac price bracket is the most popular with 38.88% of all listings followed by the 5-10 lac price segment with 22.82% of listings. These prices along with the popularity of Toyota suggest that the average consumer is looking for reliable, quality vehicles at an affordable price. The numbers also demonstrate that there is significant demand for vehicles with a higher price tag as 24.52% of listings are above 20 lac Taka. This statistic is very likely to increase in the years to come as more and more people have greater capital in hand.

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To conclude, the car market of Bangladesh is very promising. New infrastructure is being developed every day to combat traffic jams in major cities while the roads connecting these economic hubs to the rest of the country are increasingly getting better. Within the next few years, it is safe to expect the number of cars on streets to increase. What should be interesting to observe is how new categories of vehicles such as Hybrids and EV enter Bangladesh and affect the automotive scene.

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