One of Germanys Biggest Bike Makers Expanding Production in Bangladesh
A German Bangladesh joint-venture called German Bangla Bicycles Ltd. is making rapid strides in Bangladesh. The venture started in 2008 between Bangladesh based Power Trade Group and the German
DHAKA, Bangladesh – A German – Bangladesh joint-venture called German Bangla Bicycles Ltd. is making rapid strides in Bangladesh. The venture started in 2008 between Bangladesh based Power Trade Group and the German Panther International GmbH (Panther Group).
German Bangla Bicycles Ltd. is based in Dhaka and is expanding the production capacity at its plant. “Currently, we have a capacity to manufacture 150,000 bicycles annually but are expanding it further,” said Michael Schminke, Chairman of the Panther Group.
The holding Panther International GmbH was founded in 1992 from the merger of several individual companies. Panther Group is currently one of the largest bicycle manufacturers in Europe. The company headquarters is in Löhne, Germany. Panther Group subsidiaries are: the sales organization Onyx-Cycle GmbH; Czech Republic based bike assembler Masterbike sro with export mainly to Western European countries and UAB Baltik Vairas where with 600,000 bikes annually the biggest part of Panther’s production is located which is focused on export to Eastern European countries.
With the production in Bangladesh at German Bangla Bicycles Ltd. the facilities in Europe are provided with frames and forks as well as other ‘critical’ components. With that the increasing international price competition can be faced. Next to components manufacturing the 100 people strong workforce has been trained in assembling western-style hi-end bicycles. “We have been able to export bikes matching European standards from the Dhaka facility and are strong and flexible to our joint venture partner Panther Group. The venture is mutually beneficial for both the partners,” commented Fakhar-uz Zaman, owner of Power Trade Group.
“The major advantage of production in Bangladesh is, besides competitive business conditions, the proximity to East Asian component markets and the location along the most important shipping routes to the international sales markets,” feels Schminke. Helping the ‘competitive business conditions’ is the duty-free status Bangladesh enjoys with regard to bikes and parts exports to the EU. As underdeveloped country Bangladesh is in EU’s GSP+ scheme that aims of presenting such countries trade benefits. It means that bike export to Europe is completely exempted from the regular 14% import duty; bike components export to the EU from Bangladesh is exempted from the 4.7% import duty.
Since the start of the joint-venture in 2008, German Bangla Bicycles has increased its production gradually. It has also added new ranges to its product portfolio. The company intends to establish further growth and seeks new business globally in 2010.