Suzuki building another car plant to boost Myanmar production

24, Mar. 2020

Local consumers at Suzuki Motor's promotional event at a commercial facility in Yangon on Feb. 19, 2020. (NNA)
Local consumers at Suzuki Motor's promotional event at a commercial facility in Yangon on Feb. 19, 2020. (NNA)

YANGON, NNA – Suzuki Motor Corp. will build another car plant near Yangon to boost local production by four times to meet rising demand in Myanmar's automobile market.

Suzuki Motor will invest 12 billion yen ($109 million) on new plant in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone on the outskirts of the country’s commercial capital to carry out welding, painting and vehicle assembly.

The new plant is expected to start running from September 2021. It will have an annual production capacity of 40,000 units, said Keiichi Asano, managing director of the local unit, Suzuki Thilawa Motor Co.

The move comes as the Japanese automaker, which already has two plants in Myanmar, switches production from Semi Knock Down (SKD) to Complete Knock Down (CKD) of its vehicles to cater to the growing market, Asano told NNA on Monday.

In 2019, Suzuki produced 13,300 units, an increase of 25 percent year-on-year and sold 13,206 units, commanding a market share of 60.3 percent in Myanmar, said its statement.

The carmaker already has two factories in Myanmar. One existing plant in the Thilawa zone assembles three passenger car models – Ciaz sedan, Swift hatchback compact and seven-seater Ertiga multi-purpose vehicle.

The other factory in an industrial park in Dagon Township, west of Yangon, churns out Carry light commercial truck, said Asano.

Myanmar saw more than a five-fold surge in new vehicle sales between 2016 and 2019, according to the ASEAN Automotive Federation.

Suzuki began operating in Myanmar in 1998 with the establishment of a joint venture to produce motorcycles and automobiles.

Suzuki also boasts the highest market share in neighboring India, generating more than half of its global car sales in the world’s fourth largest automobile market.