Myanmar’s automobile market is set to benefit from the country’s opening-up to foreign investment. President Thein Sein has stated he wishes to bring Myanmar’s car market in-line with the rest of the world. Key to this effort is reducing car prices while at the same time removing older polluting vehicles from the road. To achieve this the government has implemented a number of car ‘substitution’ initiatives which have stimulated demand.
International manufacturers have been quick to seize upon new opportunities in the auto sector. South Korean auto maker Kia began selling cars in Myanmar in October 2012. Also in October Japanese automobile manufacturer Suzuki Motors announced it is planning to build a new assembly plant in Thilawa District of Yangon, Myanmar. The plant is expected to be completed by 2015 and will have an annual production capacity of 20,000 to 30,000 cars. The Chinese made Chery QQ3 (manufactured by the Chery Automobile Co., Ltd. company headquartered in WuHu) has proved hugely popular with Myanmar’s public due in a large part to its fuel efficiency, appealing design and price.
Myanmar offers opportunities for the export of a wide range of automotive products from heavy machinery, trucks, tractors, motorcycles, mopeds, motor parts, tires and tubes, to motorbikes and bike parts. Additionally the reform and transformation of the country’s car will be a boon to associated service industries such as insurance, auto maintenance and shipping.