Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New car sales back on track

New car sales back on track

New car sales back on track

8 bmw
New BMW’s are standing in a showroom in Phnom Penh. Only about 10 per cent of the items on the market are new, while more than 90 per cent are second-hand, RMA Cambodia said. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post

New car sales noticeably increased in the first quarter of this year, a contrast to the year earlier period when sales dropped compared with the first quarter of 2011, officials said. Major car dealers in Cambodia said yesterday the jump is due to improvements in the supply chain.

Kong Nuon, chairman of Toyota Cambodia, the Kingdom’s largest car dealer, sees the demand for new cars growing annually with the expansion of the middle class and the growth of the Cambodian economy.

“The demand is growing every year, but early last year [it declined] due to the shortage of supply,” said Nuon. “This was the result of the natural disasters in Japan and Thailand in late 2011.”

The first quarter of this year, Toyota Cambodia had already sold more than 300 units, a 50 per cent increase compared to the first quarter of last year. According to Nuon the company plans to sell at least 1,300 items by the end of this year, compared to 800 last year.

While new cars represent only 10 per cent of automobiles sold in the Kingdom, Seng Voeung, motor vehicle division manager of RMA Cambodia, a Ford distributor, said his dealership would experience strong sales.

“The demand is very huge. Passenger cars and SUVs are the best selling [products] at the moment,” Voeung said.

Pily Wong, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen distributor Hung Hiep (Cambodia), said the company sales have been increasing annually between five and 10 per cent, parallel to the growth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“It is steady expansion,” he said. “We cannot grow much more than the speed at which the country’s GDP grows.”

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