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Cheap motos, Cambodian-made

Cheap motos, Cambodian-made

CAMBODIA'S first motorcycle assembly plant should begin operations by mid-year. On

Jan 1, Thai Suzuki Motor Company Ltd and OMC group Company Ltd signed a $2.5 million

joint-venture agreement to build a 15,000 square-meter plant 15 km southwest of Phnom

Penh.

The plant is slated to assemble 40,000 units per year, 70% for export. The factory

will employ about 100 workers.

The company, Cambodia Suzuki Motor (CSM), is a joint venture betweeen Japan's Thai

Suzuki Motor and Cambodia's OMC Group. The latter will hold a 51% share.

An agreement to create CSM was signed in Phnom Penh on Jan 1, 1999 by Toru Kitazawa,

Managing Director of Thai Suzuki Motor Company Ltd, who headed a delegation to examine

the location of the plant, with Siv Thai, managing director of OMC Group Company

Ltd.

"We would leave more priority for the Japanese side, it would supervise the

plant and technology alike. For our part, we would be responsible on markets and

division of products," said Siv Thai.

"We plan to start operations in the middle of this year. We hope that within

two months we would have obtained a license [from the Council for the Development

of Cambodia]."

Sok Chenda, CDC's secretary general, confirmed the proposal to create Cambodia Suzuki

Motor Company Ltd just reached the CDC and a decision would be made during its next

monthly meeting.

Thai praised the RCG's incentive that allows tax-free raw materials importation.

"The incentive allows us to bring down the price of products to be cheaper compared

to the other countries' products," he pointed out. At the same time, the 30%

of products that will be available in Cambodia will also be cheaper than imported

motorbikes.

He has expressed his hope that in the future Cambodians will be able to consume his

products with the cheaper price. "I am happy that in the future our people can

buy our products at a cheaper price," he said.

The OMC Group has been a dealer for Thai Suzuki Motor Company Ltd. for Cambodia since1996,

holding a 70% market share. When Cambodia Suzuki Motor Company Ltd is in operation,

OMC will cease its dealing activities.

CSM Co's Sang Huor said his company has been a dealer for Thai Suzuki Motor Co. Ltd.

since 1997. He noted that the import of Suzuki motorcycle would be decreased due

to the operating plant, but that his company would be still a dealer of Thai Suzuki

Motor Company Ltd.

"We would import either a smaller quantity of motorcycle or purchase them directly

from the plant," he said.

He said an in-country motorcycle plant will benefit consumers and help provide jobs

for Khmers.

"Our people like to consume motorcycles," he observed.

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