THE construction of a Yamaha assembly plant in Cambodia will be further delayed, at least until early next year, the minority shareholder in the joint venture said Monday.
Assembly of motorcycles from premanufactured parts was originally slated to begin in October this year with the aim of producing about 30,000 motorcycles in the first year at a site in the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone (PPSEZ).
Construction was halted in March. In June, Kong Nuon, the joint venture’s chairman, said building would start by year’s end, but he told the Post Monday that it was unlikely there would be any activity this year.
“We may begin the construction sometimes early next year because in December this year we will fly to Japan to discuss the commencement of construction with our shareholders,” he said. “We still hope that we will be able to assemble Yamaha motorcycles in Cambodia by the end of next year because it will take only six to nine months to build the assembly factory.”
The US$11.5 million venture, to be located on a 4,890-square-metre site in the PPSEZ, will be 70 percent owned by Yamaha Motor Co, with Toyota Tsusho Corp taking a 20 percent stake and Kong Nuon Import the remaining 10 percent.
Kong Nuon said motorcycle sales in Cambodia had slumped since the real estate market collapsed last year, resulting in the delay. “We have not seen any recovery in motorcycle sales in the last few months,” he said.
Prior to last year’s slump, the company forecast demand for new motorcycles at about 140,000 per year. It now estimates the market to be around 100,000 a year.