Bangladesh’s Pragoti to assemble and sell Kia sedan by this year

For about a decade now, state-run Pragoti Industries has been seeking approval to assemble sedans with engine capacities of within 1600cc to make the cars more affordable for local consumers.

Jagaran Chakma

Jagaran Chakma

The Daily Star


File photo provided by The Daily Star.

March 19, 2024

DHAKA – State-run Pragoti Industries today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with STX Corporation, an authorised representative of Kia Corporation of South Korea, to assemble and sell Cerato, one of Kia’s sedans.

Currently, the 1600cc vehicle is available in the local market in the reconditioned format at around Tk 38 lakh.

“By signing the MoU, Pragati will be able to supply brand new sedans at a reasonable price to buyers, including the government and private organisations, by December 2024,” said Abul Kalam Azad, managing director of Pragoti Industries.

Signing the deal with Park Sang Joon, chief executive officer of STX Corporation, in Seoul, Azad said 200 units would primarily be assembled per year using existing facilities.

Referring to its market survey, he said Cerato would be preferred by Bangladeshi customers for its sunroof, 10-inch screen and latest safety features.

A concern of the Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation (BSEC), Pragoti currently assembles sport utility vehicles, such as the Pajero Sport, active sport crossovers, and double-cabin pickups of the Japanese brand as well as buses designed by India’s Tata.

For about a decade now, Pragati has been seeking approval to assemble sedans with engine capacities of within 1600cc to make the cars more affordable for local consumers.

The annual demand for sedans in Bangladesh currently stands at about 16,000 units, according to data of the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority.

Of the total demand, around 83 percent is met through reconditioned car imports from Japan.

This is because at present, only PHP Group, Fair Technology Group and Pragoti Industries are engaged in local assembly, said industry people.

Attending the signing ceremony as chief guest, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun said Pragati would be able to utilise its Chattogram factory’s close proximity to Chattogram port.

“Sedan car assembling will start. Then manufacturing. Pragati will have its own brand,” he said, calling upon Kia Corporation for technical assistance and investment.

Md Moniruzzaman, BSEC chairman, SM Alam, additional secretary to the industries ministry, Delwar Hossain, ambassador of Bangladesh to South Korea, Anisuzzaman Chowdhury, representative of Kia Bangladesh and executive director of Meghna Automobile, Sang Ho (Stevin) Park, managing director of STX Corporation, and Sang Nam Kim, mobility business division team leader, were present.

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