The Myanmar Times
Sunday, 21 December 2014

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The Myanmar Times

Car market begins to rebound: traders

Traders at Yangon’s Hanthawaddy car trading zone say prices have picked up by about 10 percent in the last month, while trading has also recovered.

“Car prices have bounced back slightly in the past two months and we’re trading more cars here again.

“I think the activity is the result of school summer holidays and the Thingyan festival,” said trader Ko Aung Than Win.

He said that the selling price of passenger cars worth about K10 million had climbed in value by at least K1 million, while vehicles worth about K50 million had increased in value by about K5 million.

Locally produced Super Custom vans have seen their prices rise sharply, said another Hanthawaddy trader, Ko Aung Kyaw Myint.

“Toyota Hiace replicas like Super Customs and other similar models are sold by companies at the industrial zones for about K30 million but are worth up to K70 million by the time they hit the market. And even if you bought one today and sold it tomorrow there’s almost no way you’d lose money. These are versatile vehicles and very useful for a wide range of people,” he said.

A spokesperson for UCM vehicle manufacturing company, which is based in the South Dagon Industrial Zone in Yangon, said the firm makes two popular models.

“We manufacture two types of Super Custom model vehicles – one that looks like a 1994-95 model, seats eight people and costs about K25 million, and a 2000 model that seats 12 that we sell for K35 million.

“We assemble and produce up to 10 cars a month here after importing the parts from Japan,” he said.

Ko Aung Kyaw Myint said the market for saloons has also perked up again.

“Other passenger cars such as Nissan Super Saloons and Toyota Mark IIs, which are worth about K10 million and K50 million respectively, are starting to rebound in value as well.

“But sales of cars worth K100 million or more are flat,” Ko Aung Kyaw Myint added.

A veteran car dealer, U Mei Gyi, said customers have more options than ever before, with second-hand imports from Japan and a whole host of locally produced vans, jeeps and light trucks available.

“In the past, customers could only pick from the cars they could see at yards like Hanthawaddy but now they can choose from cars assembled here, which are relatively cheap, or more expensive imports.

“That’s good news for customers and the local manufacturers as well.” – Translated by Zar Zar Soe

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