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Automotive firms keen to drive into Kingdom

Visitors inspect vehicles at the CamAuto 2016 automotive expo yesterday.
Visitors inspect vehicles at the CamAuto 2016 automotive expo yesterday. Heng Chivoan

Automotive firms keen to drive into Kingdom

Cambodia’s largest annual automotive expo CamAuto 2016 kicked off its second edition yesterday with over a 100 manufacturers from the Asia Pacific region looking to drive into Cambodia’s growing auto parts sector.

The expo, held at Koh Pich in Phnom Penh, was organised by the AMB Taurus Events Group. It attracted mostly companies from Thailand and Malaysia, which along with Taiwanese and Chinese firms were looking to set up partnerships with local businesses to sell specialised auto parts.

“The event will push the auto sector in Cambodia to provide more choice for spare parts,” said Nuon Veasna, project manager for CamAuto 2016. “Market growth and increased competition will only create better options for consumers.”

Of the participants, FJN Global Group, an importer of TOP1 engine oil, will diversify its product offering and import niche parts and accessories for off-road four wheel drive vehicles this month from the Ironman brand in Australia, said the company’s general director Hock Lao.

“Although the demand from customers for this kind of product is limited now, I hope that as people get wealthier the demand will also increase.”

Among the unique offerings at the expo were tyre re-treatment companies that were looking at Cambodia as a potential market.

Eric Chen, sales manager for Malaysian-owned KAYEL Rubber Products, said his company’s tyre rethreading service could help decrease the costs for truck and bus owners, which are prone to heavy wear and tear.

“After using their tyres, customers can pay around $90 to rethread them and use them again, with the tyres being up to 80 per cent [as good as] new tyres,” he said.

Loh Chee Siang, assistant sales manager at Malaysian auto parts and machine oil firm VLHoldings, said this was his first visit to the Kingdom and he was getting a feel for the market.

“Malaysia is close to Cambodia so it is easier to import here,” he said.

“We found that Cambodia is a niche market for luxurious cars and we want to try to service Cambodia customers through direct supply or local partnerships.”

The expo was scheduled to be held last November but was delayed for unspecified reasons, with an AMB representative saying that the event was being held closer to Khmer New Year, when there is an uptick in car sales.

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