Toyota sees rising demand despite inability to issue Yangon license

Toyota Motors is seeing demand rise for its imported automobiles despite the inability to issue Yangon license plates allowing car owners to legally park in the notoriously congested city.

The Japanese car maker yesterday launched the new Toyota Rush in Myanmar, where it hopes to sell up to 80 new units of the Rush within the next two months. The launch comes just a month after it began selling the Toyota Avanza in the country. Since then, the company has received orders for a total of 100 units of the Avanza.

The 7-seater Rush was developed specifically for emerging markets in Asia, which includes Myanmar. It is the first model adapted for everyday use under harsh road conditions common in emerging Asia.

With safety as a priority, the Rush features Toyota’s Anti -lock braking System( ABS)with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Hill- start Assist Control (HAC). The new Rush is also awarded with the 5- star ASEAN NCAP rating.

‘’The Rush is not as big as the Land Cruiser or Fortuner but it can give the feeling of an SUV and is intended for families,” said U Myo Myint Thein, COO of Toyota Aye and Son Co, which distributes Toyota models in Myanmar .

The Toyota Rush will sell for $28,500 (about K 40 million). An exclusive hire purchase scheme will be offered during the launch period with down payments starting from as low as $7,125 and monthly installments from $487.

The new Toyota SUV also comes with a 3-year or 100,000 km warranty and comprehensive after sales support will be offered at authorised Toyota dealers. The company began receiving bookings for the new Rush yesterday.

Toyota is raising its efforts to expand its vehicle offerings in the country to protect its market share as competition rises from the likes of Nissan and Suzuki, which both operate factories in Myanmar.

Since 2016, the government has implemented several changes to its car import policies in a bid to bring down traffic congestion in Yangon. In 2016, it suspended individual imports for cars using Yangon licenses. It now permits only new left-hand-drive vehicles to be imported into the country. Meanwhile, only manufacturers with factories in the region are able to issue Yangon license plates.

More changes are on the way. Most recently, the government said it will implement the Yangon Vehicle Quota Certificate (YVQC) system in Yangon to replace the existing system of using parking recommendation letters to purchase a vehicle.

The YVQC system is similar to the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) system used in Singapore. Under this system, the YVQC is the quota licence received from a successful winning bid in an open bid uniform price auction. The certificate grants holders the legal right to register, own and use a vehicle for a fixed period.

That system, which was supposed to have taken effect in April, had initially been moved to this month. “All car showrooms and customers were looking out for the announcement but last week the Ministry of Commerce said that the system would not be announced in June,” said U Myo Myint Thein.

Toyota, which does not have a factory here, said demand for its models is nevertheless rising. “In 2016 we sold 1,200 vehicles. In 2017, sales increased to 1,800 units across all three Toyota dealers in Myanmar. If the government allows us to issue Yangon licenses in the future, our sales rate would increase at an even faster pace,” said U Myo Myint Thein.

Source: Pulse

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