Toyota to build pickup-truck factory in Myanmar

28, May. 2019

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YANGON, NNA - Toyota Motor Corp. is gearing up to penetrate the Myanmar market, planning to build an assembly plant in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone on the outskirts of Yangon, sources familiar with the matter said recently.

Japan's largest automaker will initially assemble pickup trucks with parts imported from neighboring countries to boost price competitiveness in the growing market. It will invest tens of millions of dollars in the facility, the sources said.

Toyota has sold its vehicles via T.T.A.S. Co., the official local dealership and a local unit of Toyota Tsusho Corp., the trading arm of Toyota Motor Group, but duties and caps on imported cars hamper its market share expansion, according to the sources.

In Southeast Asia, the Japanese automaker locally produces vehicles in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

In Myanmar, Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co. of the United States, South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. and KIA Motors Corp. as well as Malaysia's Tan Chong Motor Holdings Bhd., partnering with Nissan Motor Co. of Japan, assemble vehicles at local factories, according to Myanmar Survey Research Co., a local consulting firm.

The number of registered vehicles in the country is estimated at 800,000, while new-vehicle sales stood at about 17,500 in 2018, surging from 4,118 in 2016 and 8,115 in 2017, according to the Automotive Association of Myanmar.

Suzuki, which began local production in 2013, has a nearly 60 percent share of Myanmar's new-vehicle sales, selling 10,330 units last year, while second-placed Toyota sold 3,017 units, according to the association. (NNA/Kyodo)