Volkswagen will open a service centre in Yangon this month through an agreement with Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings announced last week.
The joint service deal was reached with Volkswagen through Yoma’s majority-held subsidiary German Cars Industry Company (GCI), according to a Yoma press release issued October 23. Set to commence before the end of the month, GCI will offer genuine parts to Volkswagen-branded vehicles already on the road.
“The addition of Volkswagen to our automotive portfolio strengthens our position in the country’s burgeoning automotive industry,” Andrew Rickards, Yoma Strategic’s chief executive officer, stated in the release.
“Seizing such opportunities is especially important since Myanmar has the potential to become one of the most important automobile markets in the ASEAN region following the deregulation of the importation of cars.”
The deal comes amid a blitz of international car brands entering the market that includes the launch of Myanmar’s first Ford Motor Co dealership earlier this month.
Other auto-makers including Nissan, Mazda, Mercedes Benz and Hyundai are currently expanding their presence.
“We believe that the demand for cars will continue to grow because of infrastructure development and pent[-up] demand,” Michael Rudenmark, managing director of the automotive department at Yoma Strategic, told The Myanmar Times.
“We may see a slowdown in the short term, but long-term, the automotive industry will continue to grow.”
The Ministry of Commerce said earlier this month that since reforms in the sector began in September 2011, some 220,000 new and used vehicles have been imported to Myanmar.
Earlier this month, Yoma Strategic Holdings signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Estate to invest in a 2-million-square-foot mixed-use property development in downtown Yangon.
Source: Myanmar Times