Alita to Set Up 2nd Bicycle Unit in Bangladesh
To supply its European customers Bangladesh based bicycle companies like Alita (BD) Ltd. are expanding their facilities. Low cost labour and the availability of the latest production technologies are helping the Bangladesh companies to compete with other bike producing countries like
CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh – To supply its European customers Bangladesh based bicycle companies like Alita (BD) Ltd. are expanding their facilities. Low cost labour and the availability of the latest production technologies are helping the Bangladesh companies to compete with other bike producing countries like Thailand and Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh’s commercial capital and port city Chittagong Export Processing Zone (EPZ) is home to bicycle maker Alita (BD) Ltd. The company is looking for an alternative site to house a new production facility. “We will finalize the land acquisition by June 2010 for the proposed second plant,” says Mohammed Ferdous Ahmed, General Manager Alita (BD) Limited (see photo).
Alita is looking for an alternate location outside the EPZ as it plans to supply the local market too. “We are not allowed to enter the local market, if the production facility is located in the EPZ, making it very difficult for us to sell left-over inventory in Bangladesh. The new plant will have a capacity of 150,000 bicycles annually.”
Meanwhile, Alita is also stepping up the production of its mid-end range. “Currently, we are offering bikes in the € 36 – 40 range and we are planning to shift our focus to alloy bikes in the price range of € 54 – 75,” states Ferdous. Owned by a Malaysian group, Alita currently manufactures around 110,000 to 120,000 units annually at its Chittagong based plant.
Alita was set up in 1995 as an export-oriented facility focusing exclusively on the European market. Last year, the company supplied one of the UK based Falcon Group subsidiaries 30,000 bikes. “With the second unit coming up, we want to intensify our focus on the European market. 2009 was a difficult year, but fortunately the market is picking up now,” says Ferdous.
Currently some 15 companies in Bangladesh, employing over 3,000 workers, are manufacturing and assembling bicycles for export. Some of the world’s leading companies including Britain’s Raleigh, PCM, Motor and Sports, Aldi the Netherlands, Bachtenkirch Interbike of Germany, M&F De Scheemaeker and Formula Cycling of Belgium are importing bicycles from Bangladesh. The small country on the eastern border of India, manufactures all bike categories and has an export capacity of 2 million units per year.
According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) of Bangladesh, the country’s bicycle export value reached € 25.6 million between July 2008 and June 2009, a growth of 61.15% compared with the same period of 2007-2008.
Caption – Pic of Mr A H M Ferdous, General Manager Alita (BD) Limited & Bicycle plant at Chittagong, port city of Bangladesh.