The newly appointed local distributor of German carmaker Porsche broke ground yesterday on a $2 million dealership that is set to open within eight months across from the Phnom Penh International Airport on Russian Boulevard.
Equipped with four service bays, the planned Porsche Centre Phnom Penh will have a 1,879-square-metre showroom holding one of each of the brand’s five models, which the company hopes to sell to the growing ranks of well-off Cambodians.
Monks and company officials blessed the land before construction started on the new facility.
The distributor, Precision Cars (Cambodia) Limited, is a subsidiary of Hong Kong firm Lei Shing Hong, the authorised seller of Porsche in South Korea and Vietnam.
The Porsche Cayenne SUV will have a starting price of $114,000 and is pegged to be the most popular model. The new Macan compact SUV is also expected to sell strongly, according to Graeme Hunter, general director of Precision Cars (Cambodia).
According to Hunter, there are already about 70 registered Porsche vehicles in the country, making their way here through private importers.
“The problem is, however, that there is no certified service centre here for those vehicles, so the people who own them have nowhere to get them fixed,” he said.
Hunter said that the luxury vehicle market had picked up in Cambodia, enticing the company to open up shop in Phnom Penh.
“There is an obvious demand for luxury cars here. Audi is here, BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover, Range Rover and Jaguar. It makes sense for us to be here. Competition is good,” he said.
Though the government has not disclosed figures on luxury car registration, Tek Reth Kamrong, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said Cambodians are increasingly able to afford expensive consumer goods, and pointed out that in 2013, the number of imported vehicles was 10,000 more than in 2012.
Jan Weisser, after sales manager for Precision Cars (Cambodia), said he had already received interest from buyers for the Cayenne model and some also in the iconic 911 model.
“There are 70 vehicles currently out there. We definitely have received buyer interest and hope to sell another 30 vehicles by the beginning of 2015,” he said. “I think the majority of the cars we sell will be Cayenne.”
Paul Redfern is the owner of Redfern Construction, the firm hired to build the Porsche dealership by October 31.
“The timeline will be tight, but doable,” he said, adding that he also worked on BMW’s new Russian Boulevard showroom, which opened and began selling vehicles in November last year.
Audi, meanwhile, is slated to commence selling vehicles this year from its 2,200-square-metre showroom and workshop on Monivong Boulevard, through local distributor Automotive Asia (Cambodia) Ltd.