Cambodia 2018. Market up 8% despite absurd duties on import

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cambodian auto market
Mazda-CX-5-2017

Cambodian Auto market keeps growing despite the absurd fiscal system in place, which penalized the import of regular new vehicles sustaining trading activities for pre-registered models and for pre-owned obsolete vehicles. In the 2018 the market improved 8%.

Economic Environment

Cambodian economy  continued to perform well in 2018, on the back of activity in the tourism and merchandise trade sectors. In the first nine months, garment exports—which constitute the lion’s share of Cambodia’s exports—grew by over a fifth over the same period a year prior, according to customs data. In the same period, growth in tourist arrivals edged higher compared to a year earlier, according to figures from the Ministry of Tourism.

Economic growth should again be buttressed this year by the garment and the tourism sectors. Ongoing infrastructure investments from China and public consumption will likely provide a further boost. However, the potential loss of preferential market access to the EU poses a significant downside risk, while the slowdown in the Chinese economy could harm tourist arrivals.

Market Trend

Cambodian vehicles market continue to be full of contradiction and request for changes in the current rules were raised by all key players, while the renovated political victory of the President Hun Sen have not produced effects while postponing the adoption of more logic limits to the import of new and old vehicles rules.

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 the 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, the market confirm its potential reporting a positive score for the 2018, when light vehicles sales grew up 8% at 4.853 units, even in the said circumstances.

Toyota is again on top of the ranking – with 23.5% of market share – while the fastest growing brand last year was Mazda, up 113.2%.

Tables with sales figures

In the tables below we report sales for the top brands

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