The demand for cars has witnessed a significant transformation in the past decade, with consumers now preferring sports utility vehicles (SUVs) over sedans, according to car importers and traders in Bangladesh. Factors such as increased purchasing power, enhanced travel comfort, a feeling of safety on highways, and improved road conditions have contributed to this shift in consumer preference. Professionals, politicians, businesspeople, and top executives who frequently travel outside Dhaka are increasingly opting for crossover, hybrid, basic, and compact SUV models. The market share of SUVs has grown significantly, capturing around 40% of annual sales compared to a mere 10% several years ago.
Popular SUV models include Toyota Harrier, Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, Range Rover, Honda BRV, BMW, Mitsubishi Pajero, and Audi Q7. The government’s tax waivers for second-generation cars, along with the aim to introduce more electric vehicles, have further encouraged the preference for SUVs. The feeling of safety, larger size, and comfort associated with SUVs have also appealed to upper-middle-class families, who are now opting for entry-level SUVs or sub-2000cc crossovers. To ensure market stability, the Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (BARVIDA) has proposed specific duties on car imports and the rearrangement of tax slabs for hybrid and gas-run cars.