RMA (Cambodia) Plc (RMAC), the exclusive distributor of Ford vehicles in the Kingdom which has a bond listed on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), intends to assemble Ford Territory SUVs (sport utility vehicles) locally to keep pace with domestic demand.
Keo Rottanak, director-general of state-run power utility Electricite du Cambodge (EdC), made the revelation in a statement issued in conjunction with a June 11 meeting with “the company’s owner”.
“The US automaker plans to increase its investment and assemble the Ford Territory model,” he said, noting that RMAC currently puts together Ranger SUVs and Everest pickup trucks. No timeframe was provided for the preparation of any Ford Territory assembly line.
To recap, RMAC on June 16, 2022 inaugurated the Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant – worth $21 million – in Pursat province’s easternmost district of Krakor.
RMAC CEO Ngorn Saing could not be reached for comment on June 13, however he did comment at the inauguration ceremony that more Cambodians were looking to buy new Ford models as the economy and incomes improve, and that the US brand “has become the leading choice of customers in Cambodia”.
“Therefore, the company decided to set up a Ford assembly plant with full rights, to assemble vehicles from the parent company, Ford Motor Co,” he said, adding that the Ranger SUVs and Everest pickup trucks would be assembled “in accordance with Ford standards”.
“We strongly believe that the Ford assembly plant will contribute to the development of the automotive industry and boost the economy in Cambodia by increasing domestic production in line with international standards in the era of technological globalisation,” Saing said.
RMAC reported considerable improvement in business performance in the first quarter of the year – ended March 31 – despite regional and global economic challenges.
In a recent filing to the CSX, the company posted total revenue and profit after tax of 631.188 billion riel ($153 million) and 69.656 billion riel for the January-March quarter, respectively up 46.90 per cent and up 44.90 per cent year-on-year from 429.669 billion riel and 48.071 billion riel.
As of March 31, total assets and total shareholders’ equity stood at 958.668 billion riel and 487.573 billion riel, up 7.80 per cent and up 11.34 per cent year-on-year from 889.295 billion riel and 437.903 billion riel.
RMAC chairman Kevin Whitcraft revealed in the filing that the company witnessed 46 per cent and 44 per cent year-on-year growth in sales and net profit in the three months ended March 31.
“During the quarter, RMAC has continued to fulfil its long-term objectives of meeting our Cambodian consumers’ needs by launching exciting new products with a specific focus on technology, lower fuel consumption, and with a constant view toward safety,” he said.
But competitors are coming on strong, as Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp revs on to the local stage with a $40 million assembly plant in Royal Group Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone, which is slated to be completed next month.
In a previous filing, RMAC had noted that “the Cambodia car market in 2022 grew by 26 per cent compared to the previous year, at approximately 71,000 vehicles both new and used sold and registered against 57,000 units in 2021.
“New car sales have increased to above 28,000 units which represents a 43 per cent increase over 2021. The new car market in 2022 weighed 39 per cent of the total market, increasing its footprint from 34 per cent in 2021. During 2022, Ford new vehicle sales were up by 31 per cent,” it said.