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Demand for quality as car sales recover

Demand for quality as car sales recover

VEHICLE importers saw sales of new cars rise sharply in the first half of this year, compared with the same period of 2009, with dealers reporting demand soaring between 20 and 50 percent.

Although many firms declined to reveal exact sales figures to the Post on Wednesday, dealers across the board said the industry had entered a period of sales growth following the economic crisis.

Naritat Motorcare Cambodia Co Managing Director Long Narith, who runs a Phnom Penh-based firm, said sales of imported Nissans rose about 20 percent during the first half of this year, after seeing a 50 percent decline during 2009.

Nissan, whose Thai branch chief Carlos Ghosn said Wednesday that he sees Bangkok as a strategic export hub for the company, aims to sell about 500 cars in Cambodia annually. Narith said he was confident of meeting the target this year.

“The demand for new car models is picking up in line with the recovery of the global economy after hitting revenues hard last year,” he said.

He said that fluctuating oil prices should not affect sales, and that he and aims to import a new high-price model in response to demand.

Meanwhile, Seng Voeung, manager of the capital’s R M Asia Co said his firm’s Ford imports had gradually increased with quarter-on-quarter growth of about 20 percent. Successful bids to supply cars to government institutions had contributed to this, he said.

However, despite strong growth, the firm is still expecting below target sales for 2010, in part due to increased competition in the car market.

“So far, we have sold 170 cars and are expecting to sell about 350 cars at the end of this year. [This] is out of our target of 400,” he said.

Auto Sales (Cambodia) facility manager Chanchal Sinh said sales of Chevrolets surged about 50 percent in the first half of this year, and that Cambodians are increasingly looking for safe, fuel-efficient cars.

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