There are five stages on the way to becoming an automobile manufacturer and PHP is only two steps away – full body and chassis manufacturing
- PHP Automobiles to manufacture most spare parts locally
- Full body and chassis manufacturing to make it an automaker
- It now assembles five types of cars – Proton Preve, Proton Saga, Proton X70, Proton Persona and 8-seater microbus PHP Shineray X30
PHP Automobiles has gone a long way towards making its dream of "made in Bangladesh" cars a reality, going beyond mere assemblage.
The sister concern of PHP Family, based in Chattogram, which now assembles Malaysia's Proton cars, will manufacture most spare parts locally, thus entering the third stage of achieving the automaking feat.
There are five stages on the way to becoming an automobile manufacturer. PHP is only two steps away – full body and chassis manufacturing.
"Our dream is to provide people with cars 'made in Bangladesh'," said Akther Parvez, managing director of PHP Automobiles Ltd.
PHP Automobiles is now assembling five types of cars – Proton Preve, Proton Saga, Proton X70, Proton Persona and 8-seater microbus PHP Shineray X30. Of them, Proton Saga has a good demand in the market.
It has showrooms in Dhaka, Sylhet and Chattogram and is planning to gradually open showrooms in Rajshahi, Bogura, Khulna and other cities.
Beginning its journey in 2015, PHP grabbed around 20% of the sedan's market share in Chattogram with its assembled Proton Saga. Its factory, which has been running at full capacity since 2019, is capable of assembling 1,200 units a year.
Some 258 workers, including 150 engineers, are engaged in assembling cars, taking care to maintain the highest quality.
In the beginning, PHP Automobiles started with Proton Preve, a completely built unit. With no good demand for such a car in the market, in 2019 it went for Proton Saga, a completely knocked down unit, which now sees a good demand.
With this success, PHP Automobiles launched Proton X70, also known as "Talking Car", on June 21 this year amid the countrywide coronavirus outbreak.
When the company discovered that 8,332 types of spare parts were needed for a Saga or Preve but that it was possible to manufacture some of them locally, it started making 25 types of parts in its factory instead of importing them from abroad.
"We started our business with only assemblage of cars, and we are now manufacturing around 25 spare parts in Bangladesh. We are making some body parts like fuel tank cover too. Moreover, we are using local batteries. We do paint here," said Mohammed Akther Parvez.
There is a demand for cars in Bangladesh. Around 24,000 to 27,000 sedan cars are sold every year, while 90% of them are reconditioned. The reconditioned cars are damaging the environment as they emit more carbon than a new car does, Parvez added.
As such this trend of using reconditioned cars should be changed in Bangladesh, he said.
Before PHP Automobiles started assembling Proton Saga in Bangladesh, the price of such a car was around Tk18 lakh. But now customers can buy it for Tk15 lakh, he added.
PHP also manufactures four motorbikes – PHP Super, PHP Merkaba and PHP Cruise and PHP Pride. It is also planning to launch seven more models – PHP Tiger, PHP Commando, PHP Thunderbird, PHP Crown, PHP Adventure Ark and PHP Coco Cute.
PHP Automobiles is the first company in Bangladesh to set up a 4S showroom – for sales, service, spare parts and resale.
For smooth after-sales services, PHP is making available all spare parts for its buyers. It is going to launch Perfect Vehicle Solution (PVS) in October 2020 so that buyers can quickly get spare parts.
Using this PVS system, a buyer can directly make an order to PHP Automobiles for spare parts and get a quick delivery.