General Motors Southeast Asia Operations recently enlisted Pacific Alpine for distribution, sales and servicing in Myanmar, with the first Chevrolet showroom scheduled to open next quarter.
Models will be sourced from GM’s manufacturing facilities around the world to meet the specific requirements of consumers there.
Southeast Asia Operations president Martin Apfel said this was a significant milestone for Chevrolet’s expansion across this region.
Myanmar has more than 60 million people.
With the market and economy opening up, and with the increasing affluence of Myanmar’s people, the potential for growth is huge.
Chevrolet’s partners Pacific Alpine and Pacific-AA Motor were established by Alpine Group Singapore and AA Medical (Pacific-AA Group) Myanmar.
Alpine Motors, part of Alpine Group, is the exclusive dealer of Chevrolets and Opels in Singapore, while AA Medical is one of the largest distributors of pharmaceuticals and petrochemical lubricants in Myanmar.
Pacific Alpine will leverage Alpine Group’s experience in the automobile industry and its long-standing relationship with Chevrolet, while taking advantage of AA Medical’s comprehensive nationwide distribution network, retail expertise and knowledge of the Myanmar market.
As Chevrolet’s authorised distributor, Pacific Alpine and Pacific-AA Motor will engage in sales, marketing, training, after-sales and customer care, and network expansion.
“One of the most watched sectors in Myanmar is the automotive industry,” said Albert Pang, managing director of Pacific Alpine. “About 90 per cent of the vehicle population in Myanmar is more than five years old. The change in policy to allow the import of new cars will see a swift response from global and regional players. We want to put our foot in the door before the floodgates open.”
Zaw Moe Khine, chairman and chief executive of Pacific Alpine, said: “Pacific Alpine has the combined strength of Alpine Group’s automotive experience, especially with the Chevrolet brand, and AA Medical’s retail experience and coverage. This gives us the best option for speedy market entry and penetration.”
Chevrolet and Pacific Alpine also plan to launch a three-tier corporate-social-responsibility programme in Myanmar next month. In cooperation with the One World Futbol Project, they will distribute ultra-durable soccer balls throughout the country. They will make available “Find New Roads – Chevy Cares” vehicles to eight charitable organisations. They will also donate engines and technical parts to mechanical-training colleges in Myanmar.
Chevrolet distributes vehicles across Southeast Asia. Last year, it sold 88,400 vehicles in this region and had a market share of 2.7 per cent. In the first six months of this year, Chevrolet sold 41,866 vehicles in the region, an increase of 5 per cent on an annual basis.