Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Motorcycles manufactured by India’s Bajaj Group have attained the top position in recent years in the country’s fast growing bike market beating the Hero Honda brand assembled and marketed by the state-owned Atlas Bangladesh Limited.

Different brands of Bajaj have market shares of around 30 per cent, Hero Honda nearly 22 percent, Dayun brands, supplied by Runner Automobiles, 17 percent and the TVS motorbikes come to the fourth position in the market, the Financial Express (FE), a local newspaper, reported on Saturday quoting the BAAMA (Bangladesh Auto Assemblers and Manufacturers Association) data.

Bajaj’s popular products are Pulsar, Discover and Avenger.

A total of 185,000 pieces of motorcycles were sold in Bangladesh in 2009, sales growing at a pace of nearly 25 percent, the newspaper added.

India, where top Japanese auto-bike makers set up plants of joint ventures, is meeting nearly 85 percent of the country’s total demand of the two- wheelers. 15 percent demand is being met by imports from China.

“Currently our market is fully dominated by Indian motorcycles,” Matiur Rahman, managing director of Uttara Group of Companies, the assembler and supplier of the Bajaj products in the country, told the FE.

Yamaha brands are showing poor growth in the country now, although it grew well in the 1990s. The prices of Yamaha products have also remained higher averaging more than 200,000 a piece.

Heights and styles of Indian’s motorbikes have propelled the local customers, mostly rural people, to purchase the two-wheelers. Apart form this, their prices remain competitive.

AFM Saifuzzaman, managing director of Atlas Bangladesh, said: “We’ve sold 40,000 pieces of Hero brands in the last fiscal year attaining the second position in the market.”

Atlas assembles products of Hero Honda Motors, the world’s largest manufacturer of two-wheelers, based in India.

Hero Honda is a joint venture between India’s Hero Group and Honda Motor Company of Japan, that began operation in 1984. But, most of the new buyers refrain from registering their bikes.

A total of 85,142 motorcycles were registered with the BRTA (Bangladesh Road Transport Authority) in 2009 against 93,500 pieces in 2008, according the state-run BRTA statistics.

Local assemblers and manufacturers said that Bangladesh has a potential export market for motorbikes in the north-eastern states of India; Nepal and African nations.

Currently, Bangladesh has around 40 companies involved in motorcycle assembling, importing and manufacturing. Around 1.5 million people ranging from importers, dealers, spare-part sellers and mechanics are engaged in it.

BBN/SI/AD-03Oct10-12:51 am (BST)