Hyundai producing in Myanmar to meet strong local demand for new cars

Yangon Region Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein (center) and South Korean LVMC Holdings officials at a Hyundai plant opening in Yangon, Myanmar on Feb. 8, 2019.

YANGON, NNA – Hyundai Motor Co. is adding local production to its strategy to compete with well-established rivals in Myanmar as government control on used car imports boosts consumer demand for new vehicles.

Shwe Daehan Motors Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of South Korean carmaker and distributor LVMC Holdings, said Friday it had begun producing sedans and sport utility vehicles for Hyundai.

Shwe Daehan invested $9.8 million in the plant in the Thardukan Industrial Zone on the outskirts of the former capital, Yangon, according to a company document filed with the government.

The assembly plant, with about 200 workers, has annual output capacity of 10,000 units. The company plans to roll out 3,000 units in the first year.

“To satisfy our customer needs through our efforts and contribution, we will make Hyundai Motors the number one automotive brand in Myanmar within five years,” Kim Sun Bal, CEO of Shwe Daehan, said at an opening ceremony.

The company will manufacture four Hyundai models – the Accent sedan and Creta minivan, and the Grand i10 and Tucson SUVs.

The Accent will be offered during a promotion period at the discount price of 29.9 million kyat ($19,400), excluding tax.

Competition is stiff for Hyundai. Suzuki Motor Corp. of Japan held a 60-percent market share of Myanmar new vehicle sales last year and plans to invest further in the country, to supply 1,500 units a month this year.

Nissan Motor Co., BMW AG, Ford Motor Co. and South Korea’s Kia Motors Corp. also produce locally.

New car sales more than doubled from 8,225 units in 2017 to 17,524 units in 2018, according to the Automotive Association of Myanmar. That growth was largely due to tight government restrictions on used vehicle imports since 2017.

LVMC, formerly Kolao Holdings, the first South Korean company based overseas to be listed on the Korean Stock Exchange, began selling Hyundai automobiles in Yangon in 2013.

Hyundai’s sole distributor in Myanmar, it has since increased its outlets in the country to six, supplying 10 Hyundai models.

LVMC is based in Ho Chi Minh City and also sells Hyundai vehicles in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Pakistan.

NNA Report

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