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Malaysian motos to enter market

A motorist rides past the unopened Naza World of Bikes complex in Phnom Penh yesterday.
A motorist rides past the unopened Naza World of Bikes complex in Phnom Penh yesterday. The Malaysian business conglomerate plans to open to the public next month. HONG MENEA

Malaysian motos to enter market

Naza Bikes Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Malaysia-based Naza Group of Companies, will enter Cambodia’s crowded motorbike sector, according to the local brand manager.

“[Business] will probably be launched on the first of next month,” Hay Chamreoun, the manager, said yesterday, adding that construction for the showroom in Tuol Kork district started six months ago and is 90 per cent complete.

According to Chamreoun, three types of bikes will be sold in the Phnom Penh outlet: a 125cc for $1,700, a 250cc for $5,000 and a 650cc for $7,000.

The Malaysia-based Business Times reported yesterday that the launch of a dealership centre will see Naza’s bikes enter the Cambodian market directly rather than through an appointed distributor.

Naza Group is one of the largest distributors of motorcycles in Malaysia, and the sole importer and distributor for brands Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Piaggio, Vespa, Aprilia and Gilera. It is also dominates the imports for luxury automobiles, according to its website.

In 2003, subsidiary Naza Bikes set up its own 2,230-square-metre bike-manufacturing plant in Malaysia.

With an annual capacity to produce 50,000 units, the plant assembles everything from run-of-the-mill scooters to high-speed sports bikes.

“I don’t think we [will] struggle with the market here [in Cambodia], because before we decided to come, we already did the market research, and we see great potential,” Chamreoun said.

But Malaysian-produced brands aren’t as well established as others, said Net Phauk, assistant to the director of the Japan Motorcycle Shop in Phnom Penh.

“Here [people] prefer brands from Japan and the US,” he said.

Japan Motorcycle Shop also sells high-speed sports bikes, with the average costing $10,000, and some as much as $30,000.

He said demand for the bigger, faster bikes is still low, but it has been increasing this year.

Newer entrants into the motorbike market have been reporting growth.

Tes Dary, inventory officer of Narita Group, the authorised distributor for Vespa maker Piaggio Group, said in a recent interview that scooter sales in the first half of this year have already reached 70 per cent of the target goal for 2013. Vespas sold the most out of the showroom’s stock, which includes Piaggio’s Fly and Liberty scooters.

Cambodian imports of motorbikes reached 264,085 units, valued at a total $139 million, in the first 11 months of 2012, data from the Ministry of Economy and Finance show. The figure represents a 55 per cent jump from 170,380 units worth $86.5 million in the same period the year before.

Besides automobiles and motorbikes, Naza Group is affiliated with several other areas of investment, including property development, hospitality, food and beverages, finance and insurance, manufacturing, and agriculture.

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