Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Yamaha plant put on hold

Yamaha plant put on hold

Yamaha plant put on hold

CONSTRUCTION of a US$11.5 million Yamaha motorcycle- assembly plant in Phnom Penh’s Special Economic Zone will not begin until next year at the earliest, according to the project’s Cambodian investor.

The plant had been deferred because of slumping demand for motorbikes following the global financial crisis, project chairman and minority owner Kong Nuon said yesterday.

“If the economic situation improves this year, we will restart our construction on the factory early next year,” he said.

The firm already operates a plant in Phnom Penh, but first announced plans to build the new $11.5 million motorbike factory in September 2008 – before the full effect of the financial crisis was known.

Japan’s Yamaha Motor Company owns 70 percent of the venture. The remainder is controlled by Toyoto’s trading company Toyota Tsusho Corporation, with a 20 percent stake, and Kong Nuon Import-Export, with 10 percent.

In March this year, Yamaha Motor Co Managing Director Matoba Michifumi said the firm was considering whether to restart work during the second half of 2010.

Prior to the crisis, the firm forecast domestic motorcycle demand stood at 140,000 per year. Since the crisis, the figure has been re-estimated at 100,000.

Many dealers echoed claims that sales remained low.

Sang Heng, a Chamkarmon district motorcycle dealer, said his motorcycles sales had dropped about 30 percent for the first seven months of this year.

“In the first seven months of last year, I sold around 350 motorcycles, but during the first six month of this year, only 250 motorcycles have been sold,” he said.

Blaming the impact of the financial crisis, he said no recovery was yet in evidence.

“Incomes for Cambodian farmers dropped, so my customers are no longer as willing to purchase the newest models,” he said.

Kim Chhay, one of many dealers operating on Phnom Penh’s Sihanouk Boulevard, said his sales dropped by 10 percent for the first seven months compared with the same period last year.

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not