Tan Chong Motor (Cambodia) Pty Ltd, launched the All-New Nissan Terra in Phnom Penh last Friday, just three months after rolling out the Nissan Navara Premium Plus – signalling its strong presence in the competitive Cambodian market and a clear testimony that demand for SUVs is growing as well.
The launch also mirrors consumers’ preference for the Japanese Nissan models, despite the domestic market being flooded with other popular brands such as Toyota, Mazda and Honda.
“Cambodia is an important market with its fast industrialisation and customer taste is different. In 2017, our sales volume doubled and in 2019, we are looking at growing very fast with our strong sales team."
“We may expand our branches to five or six from the current two in the next five to six years,” Kazuma Okura, General Manager of Independent Markets Management, Nissan Motor Asia Pacific, told The Post on the sidelines of the event.
Tan Chong Motor (Cambodia), the sole and exclusive distributor of Nissan vehicles in the Kingdom, launched the Navara on September 8, followed by two other launches of the same model in Siem Reap and Battambang.
The Terra, built at Nissan’s production hub in Thailand for the Southeast Asian market, combines top-in-class engine performance with spacious comfort and advanced driving technology.
“Cambodia started showing signs of a growth in automotive sector and today we see the SUV segment remains Top 3 volume and growth driver for the automotive industry."
“Southeast Asia is very important for Nissan. All-New Nissan Terra was created for both urban commuting and off-road adventure,” added Kazuma.
Increasingly, Cambodia is becoming a darling for foreign auto-makers. Its favourable and stable economic climate, with a gross domestic product growth averaging seven per cent over the last decades and supported by friendly foreign investment policies, have created a conducive market for foreign automakers and distributors.
In addition, better disposable income, changing lifestyle and the need for better transportation are all fuelling demand for passenger cars in the Kingdom.
Therefore, domestic auto sector’s growth appears stable and sustainable in the coming years.
According to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, 3.2 million vehicles, including 2.7 million motorcycles, were registered in Cambodia in 2015 – a 14 per cent growth compared to the previous year.
The promising macroeconomic indicators and the Kingdom’s strategic location bodes well for foreign carmakers such as Nissan, as Cambodia’s next-door-neighbour Thailand has emerged as Asean auto production hub, making it convenient and cheaper to ship out vehicles across the region.
About three million cars are sold yearly in Asean, both passenger and commercial vehicles, and Japanese models dominate 80 per cent of the market, according to media reports.
“We are very pleased to share that Nissan Terra, a vehicle produced in South East Asia for the people of this region."
“Cambodia’s All-New Terra is produced in neighbouring country, Thailand, underlining the importance of this region as a world- class production hub,” said Kazuma.
In his opening remarks, Tan Chong Motor’s chairman for Laos and Cambodia Dato Than Tai Hing, said Terra received an overwhelming market response in China, thePhilippines, Indonesia and Thailand, when it was introduced few months ago, and very positive response during last week’s launch in Laos.
“The design of the All-New Nissan Terra was conceived based on the driving needs of Asian customers as customers now expect more from their vehicles, he added.
At the launch, Than announced that the Terra 4-by-2 Automatic will be priced at $64,900, while the Terra 4-by-4 Automatic’s price is tagged at $69,000.
“I am confident that consumers in Cambodia will be thrilled with the strength and premium looks of this SUV, and the agility of an ideal family adventure."
“Together with emotional design, there are many attractive elements that make up the All-New Nissan Terra to attract a broader range of buyers in this market,” added Than.
Backed by a competent after-sales team and equipped with the latest diagnostics tools to pinpoint and troubleshoot, and expansion plans for 2019, it is evident that Tan Chong Motor is positing itself to be a key player in the robust local auto sector.
The seven-seater Terra carries the signature boomerang-shaped Daytime Running Lights that is not only a stylish design, but also provides safety by making the vehicle easier to be seen day time or cloudy condition and brilliant LED Headlamps for night driving.
“Cambodia is a tough market, [especially] with used cars dominating the market. But we are optimistic, with quality services and strong brand [we can compete]."
“The launch of Nissan Terra brings us one step closer to delivering on our mid-term business plan for the region,” added Kazuma, who is also bullish of the Indochina market.