Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Moto imports jump 55 per cent

Moto imports jump 55 per cent

Moto imports jump 55 per cent

130227 08
Motorbikes are displayed for sale at a Honda showroom in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

IMPORTS of motor scooters reached 264,085 units, with a total value of $139 million in the first 11 months of last year – a 55 per cent jump from 170,380 units worth $86.5 million in the corresponding period of 2011, according to data from the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The absence of public transport and the economic development of Cambodian rural areas, along with improved roads, are prompting more people to buy motorcycles to get around.

“We have to remember that motorbikes are still the main form of transport for Cambodian people,”  Phal Ra, marketing manager at the Japan Motorcycles Shop, which sells Honda motorcycles, told the Post yesterday.

“The purchasing power of people from rural areas has been increasing from year to year, which is a significant reason for this boost,” he added

The ministry data do not provide details on which scooter brands were imported last year.

But according to market observers such as Vouch Lay, a motorcycle dealer with two branches in Phnom Penh’s city centre, Japanese brands produced in Thailand are the most popular among Cambodian
customers.

“I think Honda is the leading brand in the market, Suzuki [comes in] second, and Yamaha is third,” Lay told the Post yesterday. “There are some brands imported from China and Vietnam, but they are the subsequent option.”

However, more motorcycles on the Kingdom’s roads may not necessarily be a good thing.

Cambodians’ dissatisfaction with the city’s traffic congestion is often heard at traffic lights, where people on scooters often share their complaints with riders next to them, especially during rush hour.

Youk Chamroeunrith, the general manager of Forte Insurance, said the popularity of individual transport was contributing to congestion in the capital and a high accident rate.

“The number of [people] with motor insurance is tiny, which is not good compared to the current practice in neighbouring countries,” Chamroeunrith said.

“The [increasing] use of individual vehicles is also a barrier for the country to urge companies to invest in public transport such as municipal bus services.”

An October 2011 case study by the Japanese development agency JICA said Phnom Penh’s traffic jams could have serious economic and environmental consequences for the city.

“If this situation is left untouched, the traffic situation in Phnom Penh will soon reach a level that could hamper economic growth and the livelihood of the capital’s citizens,” the study said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kem Sokha’s daughters slam ‘liar’ Sam Rainsy over ‘smears’

    The daughters of former opposition leader Kem Sokha hit out at Sam Rainsy on Tuesday, accusing the newly nominated “acting president” of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) of leading a “smear campaign” against their father and “repeatedly lying to the public”. The Supreme Court-dissolved

  • US Embassy urges reconciliation

    The US has urged Cambodia to restore the independence of the media, drop charges against Kem Sokha and other political prisoners, and end the prohibition of political activity by opposition parties. However, senior government officials see the request, issued by US embassy spokesman Arend C

  • Government deports 235 Chinese scammers

    THE Immigration Department of the Ministry of Interior on Thursday deported 235 Chinese nationals, 35 of whom were female, via the Phnom Penh International Airport for their part in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) online money extortion scam. The deportees were arrested on November 26 over the

  • ‘Tolerant’ PM calls for ‘unity’

    In his message on celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation, known by its French acronym FUNSK, Prime Minister Hun Sen said for the sake of unity in the Kingdom, he is “tolerant” to those who “acknowledged their mistakes”, and