Runner’s CNG-run three-wheeler hits market

Prime minister’s private industry and investment adviser Salman F. Rahman launches the three-wheeler and inaugurated the Runner Bajaj Three-Wheeler Manufacturing Plant built on 10 acres of land here at a cost of about Taka 3 billion in Bhaluka, Mymensingh on 11 February 2023BSS

Bangladesh has entered the three-wheeler manufacturing industry as local company, Runner Automobiles Plc, launched the first ever locally made liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) run vehicles in the country, reports news agency BSS.

Prime minister’s private industry and investment adviser Salman F. Rahman on Saturday launched the three-wheeler and inaugurated the Runner Bajaj Three-Wheeler Manufacturing Plant built on 10 acres of land here at a cost of about Taka 3 billion in Bhaluka, Mymensingh.

President of Bajaj Auto KS Grihapathy addressed the inaugural ceremony as the guest of honour.

Runner has started production of LPG and CNG-run three-wheelers in Bangladesh for the first time with Indian automaker Bajaj Auto’s technical support, which marked the beginning of the first international three-wheeler manufacturing plant in the country.

The plant is expected to produce 30,000 LPG and CNG-run vehicles per year since the authorities hoped to export the products after meeting the domestic demand.

Addressing the inaugural function as the chief guest, Salman F. Rahman said the plant has been equipped with and set up in such a way that can impress anyone at the first sight.

Noting that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave an instruction for creating a business-friendly environment in the country to facilitate the businessmen to expand their trades, he urged the businessmen to seize the opportunity.

Salman thanked the Runner for launching the ‘Made in Bangladesh’ brand by launching its locally made LPG and CNG run three wheeler that would help diversify the country’s economy.

He said the government is now working to build the “SMART Bangladesh” after attaining the vision ‘Digital Bangladesh’.

“You know, when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina talked about Digital Bangladesh, people ridiculed the concept. But, now it’s a reality,” Rahman added.

The government will provide all kinds of support to the export oriented industries and also for development of these industries, he said, adding that all kinds of assistance would also be provided for the expansion of the automobile industry in the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Grihapathy said the Runner Bajaj three-wheeler manufacturing plant is Bajaj’s first ever manufacturing plant outside India.

 “We are very delighted to be a part of the project with the Runner and we are committed to work with Bangladesh for automobile development,” he added.

Chairman of Runner Group, Hafizur Rahman Khan, said, “Today is a day of great joy, we started the journey of the first three-wheeler manufacturing plant in Bangladesh. We are grateful to all of those who helped us to set up the plant”.

Noting that the government is currently losing a big amount of revenue as most of the three-wheelers run without registration, he said locally made three-wheelers will help boost the government’s revenue collection.

“We don’t want to linger our dependency only on the garments, we are eyeing to earn foreign currency by exporting automobile products,” Khan said, adding that Runner is planning to export three wheelers after meeting the local demand.

Managing director and chief executive officer of Runner, Subir Chowdhury, said the Runner is the leading manufacturer and exporter in the motorcycle industry in Bangladesh.

Following the inauguration of the three-wheeler manufacturing plant, he said, “We entered the three-wheeler industry today. Hopefully, we will achieve success in this industry like motorcycles”.

This plant has created new employment opportunities for 300 people, Chowdhury said, adding that Runner Bajaj three-wheeler will be the means of communication for the country’s ordinary people.

“We are proud to contribute to the country’s economy with industrial development,” he said.

Lawmakers Saifuzzaman Shikhor and Kazim Uddin Ahmed, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) executive chairman Lokman Hossain Miah, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) president Md. Jashim Uddin and Uttara Motors chairman and managing director Matiur Rahman also spoke at the function.

Monira Sultana, MP, and Bangladesh Automobiles Assemblers and Manufacturers Association (BAAMA) president Abdul Matlub Ahmed were present, among others, at the event.

Runner as the pioneer, the only manufacturer of Bajaj RE three-wheeler CNG and LPG in Bangladesh, has all the modern manufacturing facilities like modern welding line, spot welding gun and modern robots from renowned companies.

At least 70 per cent of parts including welding, chassis, body and quality control will be locally manufactured.

Cathodic Electro Deposition (CED) technology will be used to maintain paint quality and prevent corrosion in humid air. Runner Automobiles has plans to export these three wheelers to neighbouring countries.