Cambodia 2020. Mazda plummets (-40%) and loses share in market down 20.9%

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Cambodia car market
The 2021 Nissan Kicks

Cambodian auto market in 2020 falls by 20.9% as the pandemic,  lockdowns, and fall in tourism affect sales. Full-Year sales have been 18.718, while Mazda plummets by 40% and loses 4.1% share.

Economic Environment

Following a likely severe hit in H1 due to the impact of the pandemic and associated restrictions, available data suggest that economic activity remains subdued in H2. The tourism industry, which accounts for more than a quarter of GDP, continues to suffer: Despite a significant increase from July, tourist arrivals were still down 95.9% year-on-year in August.

Moreover, both investment projects and construction proposals declined markedly in January–August compared to last year, signaling still-downbeat private sector activity. Meanwhile, on a brighter note, merchandise exports grew robustly in the same period on higher shipments of bicycles, electronics, and rice.

Lastly, on 23 October, the government approved the draft 2021 budget—valued at around USD 8.1 billion, slightly lower than last year’s original budget—aimed at addressing the harsh impact of the pandemic and supporting the recovery.

Market Trend

The Cambodian car market has been hit in 2020 by the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic and by the consequent drop in tourism, which has impacted sales significantly.

Indeed, together with Laos, Cambodia is the only country within the ASEAN without a clear policy against the import of pre-owned old, high polluting, low safety vehicles, and the tax reform applied in 2017, which increased the duties for new vehicles import, has penalized the local distributors which increased price freezing a potentially high demand and creating wide space for trading from Japan or others ASEAN countries.

However, in 2018 the market confirmed its potential reporting a positive score when light vehicle sales were at 10.086. In 2019 the market even accelerated probably for the combined effect of the reduction of grey market and strong consumer demand and hit the new all-time record, the 10th in a row, with full-year sales landing at 23.655 unit, up 134.5%.

While the spread of the virus in the country is under control, the huge fall of the tourism sector reduced dramatically the purchasing power and people are still back in the poverty. The purchase of a new car is not their priority, at the moment.

Indeed, Full-Year sales for 2020 have been 18.718, reporting a decline of 20.9% compared to 2019.

Brand-wise, this year the leader Ford (-17.5%) gained 1.7% market share, followed by Toyota (-33.8%), which lost 3.8% share. Mazda on the other hand fell 40% and lost 4.1% market share.

The most sold model in the country remains the Ford Ranger despite falling 18.2%.