Construction of Toyota Myanmar plant kicks off in Thilawa
Toyota Myanmar Co. Ltd held a groundbreaking ceremony at the construction site for its new manufacturing plant at the Thilawa Special Economic Zone on Friday, 1 November, 2019. The US$52.6 million plant is expected to be operating from February 2021 onwards. It will produce 2500 Toyota Hilux pickup trucks per year using the semi knock-down method. Around 130 jobs will be created. Toyota currently imports the Hilux, Vios, Rush and other vehicles for sale in Myanmar.
The company’s plan is to ride on rising demand for automobiles in Myanmar. In 2018, more than 18000 new vehicles were sold in the country, which is 2.1 times more than the previous year’s, according to available data. By 2020, automakers estimate that the number of vehicles driven in Myanmar will exceed 2 million. However, Toyota is likely to face strong competition by other car makers which already operate facilities in Myanmar when its plant opens for business in 2021.
Among the competition is Suzuki Myanmar Motor Co Ltd, which claims to now command 60 percent of the market for new cars in Myanmar, according to Keiichi Asano, managing director of the Suzuki Myanmar. The Japanese car maker this year produced 15,000 vehicles compared to 12,000 in 2018, representing a 25 percent increase in year-on-year production, the company said. Japan is now the tenth largest investor in Myanmar, with a total of 117 entities having channeled US$1.2 billion worth of capital into the country since 1988, according to DICA.
Source: Myanmar Times
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