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New car assembly plant to go online this year

New car assembly plant to go online this year

Chinese-owned Khmer First Car Factory to build heavy vehicles and trucks for multiple makers

The government has approved a car assembly factory to be built in the Kingdom this year, according to an official at the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy (MIME).

MIME department of industrial affairs Deputy Director Hort Pheng told the Post on Monday that a Chinese-owned factory – called the Khmer First Car Factory Co – had been approved to be built in Chom Chao commune for large-vehicle assembly.

“The company is yet to begin construction and operate car assembly, but it will start this year,” he said. “It is currently preparing the assembly equipment to be installed in the factory before production can begin.”

The company is not linked to a specific brand, but will assemble cars from various makers, specialising in large vehicles such as pickups, minibuses and trucks between 1.5 tonnes and 4 tonnes, said Hort Pheng.

He added that the plant expects to assemble between 1,000 and 2,000 vehicles each year.

Chinese investor Yao Chang Sheng is the registered owner of the Khmer First Car Factory Co, according to documents filed with the government.

Hort Pheng said the company’s capital investment topped US$3 million, and the factory would be built on a 14,600-square-metre block in Kbal Damrey village in Dangkor district – about 10 kilometres southwest of Phnom Penh.

“Now, we are seeing many investors interested in coming to Cambodia because of the good policies of the government and political stability. It makes them more confident to invest in our country – if not, why would they come to invest here?” he said.

Company representatives could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce director general Nguon Meng Tech said the car assembly factory would be good for the country, as it would help create jobs for Cambodians and help the economy.

“We hope that the company’s investment will help develop Cambodia’s economy better,” Meng Tech said.

A Koh Kong-based car assembly plant owned by South Korea’s Hyundai distributor KH Motors in a joint venture with Cambodia’s Ly Young Phat Group, is still under construction and also slated to open by the end of the year.

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