Auto sales worth K30 mln brisk; price relates to Kyat-Dollar exchange rate

The domestic automobile market has a roaring trade of vehicles worth K30 million rather than those valued above K50 million. It is hard to guess the price as it is positively related to the Kyat-Dollar exchange rate, Ko Khin Maung Tun, a car dealer, told the Global New Light of Myanmar (GNLM).
“The automobile deal is pretty good in end-October and early November. Before the Tazaungdaing Festival (5-7 November), automobiles worth approximately K30 million are highly demanded. As some people like to go on road trips with families during the Tazaungdaing holidays, the sales were up again. Yet, vehicles worth more than K50 million are less demanded. The market is expected to raise its head again after the holidays,” Ko Khin Maung Tun pointed out.
During the period between late August and early September, the dollar exchange rate hit K4,500 in the black market. Therefore, vehicle trade is active. At present, the trade is steadily going.
“The price is volatile sometimes, causing loss to some investors. The price rise is improbable for now. Those dealers who keep the vehicles in their hands are willing to sell them. Nonetheless, the supply outperforms the demand,” Ko Thein Soe, a car dealer, told the GNLM.
When the strong dollar was exchanged at K4,500 in the markets, the price of the vehicle was up by six digits. As a result of this, the majority of the businessmen sold their cars and held safe-haven assets (pure gold items). Consequently, the price of gold significantly edged up then.
“When Kyat value is depreciating against foreign currencies in the forex market, some investors bought the automobiles in the hope of higher prices. However, the market price goes down and is stable at a certain level.  The investors did not make a handsome profit as they expected. When some want to sell them and get their money back, the demand is still low. The market is quite cool at present,” Ko Tin Sein, a dealer, told the GNLM.
The Hilux pickup locally assembled by Toyota Myanmar is priced at K150-200 million. The price of Hilux cars that are to be imported is gradually declining. Those who made orders and advanced purchases are calculating their loss, for now, Ko Tin Sein continued.
When those vehicles produced under the semi-knocked down system were given the go-ahead, a dollar was worth only K1,500. Now, the rate has doubled. The news of electric car import permits is spreading in the market. But the speculating rumour without official statement shakes up the automobile market,” said Ko Thein Soe.
On 10 October, Hozon Auto Company signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Grand Sirius Limited (GSE) for the electric vehicle market.
“People eye electric vehicles. After Myanmar is planning to construct charging stations in Yangon and on the Yangon-Mandalay expressway, it increases the attention of the public. As it is more affordable than gas and diesel-fueled cars, the locals are observing the automobile market, Ko Thein Soe added.
The automobile market climbed in the past three months and it plunges for now. The market in the region outside Yangon is cool. There is regular vehicle trading in Yangon markets.
The price of vehicles worth K30-50 million under the SKD system decreased by K5 million.
“The prices of vehicles were down by K2 million to K10 million depending on brands and specifications. The trade of family used cars is booming online,” Ko Khin Maung Tun told the GNLM.—TWA/GNLM

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