Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - 'First' vehicle assembly plant next year: RMA

'First' vehicle assembly plant next year: RMA

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Local publicly-listed firm RMA (Cambodia) Plc is planning to set up the Kingdom’s 'first-ever' motor vehicle assembly plant, to capitalise on the rising consumer demand for brand-new personal vehicles seen in recent years. RMA CAMBODIA

'First' vehicle assembly plant next year: RMA

Local publicly-listed firm RMA (Cambodia) Plc is planning to set up the Kingdom’s "first-ever" motor vehicle assembly plant, to capitalise on the rising consumer demand for brand-new personal vehicles seen in recent years.

The move has prompted some to say that this could be a game-changing development for the domestic automotive industry.

RMA CEO Ngorn Saing told The Post on September 15 that his company received approval from Ford Motor Co to manufacture Ranger pickups and Everest SUVs, saying that the US auto major recognises the increasing demand in Cambodia for new vehicles.

He said RMA has signed a land leasing agreement for a 4ha site in Pursat province’s easternmost district of Krakor, and separate contracts with a construction manager and general contractor.

“We expect the assembly plant to be ready next year, and now we are just waiting for government approval so that we can begin construction. It’ll take between three-to-four months to complete, and we’ll be able to start assembly early next year,” he presumed.

The planned facility will have a lofty production capacity of 10,000 units per year, or over 27 per day, he said, admitting that this will exceed demand, and noting that the assembly line would be tailored to better match market needs.

Pursat provincial governor Mao Thonin heralded the project, saying he expects it to generate new jobs in the province and kickstart a new industry for the Kingdom.

“We welcome the forenamed investment into our province, wherefore they will create more jobs, improve the livelihoods of the people here, and produce more skilled labour for the automotive industry,” he said.

RMA’s Saing pointed out that the domestic automotive industry is dominated by second-hand vehicles, which account for 70-80 per cent of all sales in the Kingdom, a trend which he said has rapidly reversed in the last few years as more Cambodians opt for new models.

He indicated that used vehicles are “very risky for our people”, due to the road safety hazards that they can pose.

The project, he added, comes as Cambodians become increasingly aware of safety issues and reject second-hand models in favour of brand-new units.

He said that while all raw materials to be fed into the assembly line will be shipped in from a Ford factory in Thailand, the company will be open to local firms that are keen on supplying any of the necessary components.

“Our assembly plant will entice more component factories to set up in Cambodia to supply us, with tyres for instance,” he said with a dose of optimism.

According to Saing, Ford has topped the domestic new-vehicle market for a number of years consecutively, with a 45 per cent market share.

“We hope that the government will support us, as this is the first-ever motor vehicle assembly plant in Cambodia. This is the start of the Cambodian automotive industry and it will spur other companies into the market.

“The prices of our vehicles will also be quite a bit more economical, inspiring more people to embrace new models that are safe,” he said.

“Our ultimate goal in setting up an assembly plant here is to provide affordable prices.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10