Mr. Masaki Honda, Principal Consultant, Automotive & Transportation Practice, Asia Pacific said that total heavy commercial vehicle sales in Myanmar is expected to grow at a CAGR (2011-2016) of 21 per cent to reach 12,700 units in 2016.
He added that registrations of trucks – including locally-manufactured and imported – may increase to 10,100 units by 2016 from the 4,000 units currently. “The growth is due to the infrastructure projects and the mining sector which use dump trucks and other heavy-duty machineries,” Mr. Honda said.
Mr. Honda said that as for buses, approximately 700 buses are newly registered in 2011 and the number of buses will reach 2,600 units by 2016 thanks to the increase of passenger movements within the country and between neighboring countries.
"Myanmar is an attractive destination for commercial vehicle manufacturers looking into entering the country," he added.
However, he said that the main challenge for foreign vehicle manufacturers is the affordability of their vehicles. "Local companies may not be able to purchase brand-new commercial vehicles especially Japanese or European-made and will resort to used vehicles," Mr. Honda said.
Foreign firms will probably be cautious about making any large investment due to the frequent regulatory changes, he added.
Mr. Honda noted that most of the trucks currently used in Myanmar are Japanese makes such as Nissan Diesel and Mitsubishi Fuso, imported from Japan. "Japanese-made used vehicles are popular even though they are older models such as 2004 models because of durability and reliability, while newer Korean and Chinese brands are preferred because of lower price tags compared to Japanese brands," he said.
Mr. Honda said that Myanmar has about 2.3 million registered vehicles as of 2011, which include passenger cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles. He noted that motorcycle is the most popular mode of transport in Myanmar and accounts for 81 per cent of the total registered vehicles. Meanwhile, passenger cars have a 12 per cent market share, followed by commercial vehicles at 3 per cent and bus at 1 per cent.
He said that vehicle importers play an important role in bringing in used-vehicles into Myanmar due to a lack of locally manufactured vehicles in the country.
He added that before 2009, vehicle import had been restricted to limited companies such as a company owned by the Myanmar military which runs multiple businesses such as manufacturing, trading and transportation. However, since 2010, private companies have been allowed to import vehicles, resulting in more brands and types of commercial vehicles made available in Myanmar.
"Korean and Chinese brands have been gaining market share since then and are expected to increase further due to their lower pricing as compared to Japanese used vehicles," he said.
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