Archive for the ‘Myanmar’ Category

Myanmar 2013: New Photo Album available!

October 29th, 2013 4 comments

Toyota Belta Myanmar 2013. Picture courtesy of Phoe Thar AungToyota Belta in Yangoon, Myanmar

* See all Myanmar Photo Albums by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Phoe Thar Aung *

Even though no official sales data is available yet for Myanmar, thanks to the generosity of BSCB readers I can share with you a third Photo Album about this country today. You can see the first Photo Album by Ryusuke here and the second Photo Album by Ramon Rivera here. Thanks to Phoe Thar Aung we now have access to a little more information about the Burmese car market.

Myanmar 2Old and new Myanmar license plates

Phoe Thar Aung tells us that due to the government’s deregulation of car imports into Myanmar, the biggest city Yangon is congested with traffic. Therefore, small engine cars of 1300 cc are very popular such as the Toyota Belta, Honda Fit, Suzuki Swift, Mazda Demio. For the Hybrid cars Honda Civic and Honda Insight are popular, too. However, Toyota Prius is a rare sight as its original cost is still expensive.

Myanmar 3
Toyota Ractis taxi in Yangoon, Myanmar

In July 2013, the Road Transport Administration Department started to issue license plate in English Language, whereas until now they were issued in Myanmar alphabet. It is expected that by the end of 2014, all the cars will be with English language license plates. In Myanmar license plates are renewed annually. There are 7 Divisions and 7 States in Myanmar. YGN on the plate denotes that the car is registered in Yangon Division, MDY means it is registered in Mandalay Division.

Myanmar 4Yangoon street scene

Red-coloured plates are for commercial vehicles including Taxis, Trucks and Buses, black is for private cars, and white is for diplomats.Taxi’s plates start with AA, BB, CC etc. Starting from CC plates, the registration location as YGN, MDY etc is added. Among taxis, the Toyota Probox is the most popular, followed by the Toyota Corolla and Caldina and Nissan AD.

See all Myanmar Photo Albums below.

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Categories: Myanmar

Myanmar: The old Chevrolet and Mazda trucks from Burma

June 18th, 2013 3 comments

Mazda B360 taxi in Mandalay, MyanmarMazda B360 taxi in Mandalay, Myanmar. Picture by klepl, all rights reserved.

* See the Full article by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Ramón Rivera from Chile *

Today I thought I would share with you some extracts of a great article written by one of our readers, Ramón Rivera.  Similarly to a post I wrote a couple of years ago about Cuba (Cuba: Lada, Hyundai, Geely and vintage Americans dominate), it shows how the cars in circulation in Myanmar (aka Burma) are a testimony of the last 50 years history of the country. You can check out Ramón‘s original article here.

Mazda Pathfinder BurmaMazda Pathfinder XV-1. Picture by break_away1112, all rights reserved.

As you know from the few posts I wrote about Myanmar, this market was up until about a year ago very closed and extremely difficult to read as far as new cars were concerned because they were very few. It is now opening up with the Chery QQ a common sight in Yangon… However decades of military dictatorship and closed borders will take a while to disappear and the traffic is the whole of Myanmar reveals some interesting ties the automobile industry used to have with the outside world…

Chevrolet Bus in MyanmarChevrolet bus. Picture by, all rights reserved.

First and foremost, the hordes of World War II trucks repurposed as buses, some of them in circulation for the last 70 years without interruption! Due to be put down and replaced soon, the legendary Chevrolet buses will survive as luxurious tourist coaches…

Mazda K360 MyanmarMazda K360 taxi in Mandalay, Burma. Picture by duplisea, all rights reserved.

But the most striking occurence on Burma’s roads and specifically in Mandalay in the centre of the country are the mini Mazda trucks used as taxis. You can still find a few Mazda K360 still in service, even though this model was originally launched in 1959 and killed in 1971…

Mazda B360 BurmaMazda B360. Picture by photasia, all rights reserved.

The most popular taxi in Mandalay is still the Mazda B360, painted a very distinctive blue. The B360 was originally launched in 1961 in Japan and killed there in 1967, however its local assembly in Burma kick started 5 years later in 1972 to only stop in the mid-nineties!! After economic sanctions were imposed to the country in 1988, the factory could not import any parts from Japan anymore and had to continue 100% local production under the Myanmar Automobile and Diesel Engine Industries (MADI) name.

Mazda Pathfinder Burma1Mazda Pathfinder XV-1. Picture by myanmartravelessentials, all rights reserved.

Another very little-known Mazda still gracing Burma’s roads nowadays in spite of its old age is the Mazda Pathfinder XV-1, which based on my research was only produced in Burma (not even in Japan) for the military in 1972, but its robustness has meant it can still be seen in circulation today. Impressive.

Previous post: Myanmar 2013: Now with exclusive photo album!

See the Full article below featuring a video about the Chevrolet buses.

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Categories: Myanmar

Myanmar 2013: Now with exclusive photo album!

May 23rd, 2013 4 comments

Chery QQ Myanmar 2012. Picture by Ryusuke IkedaChery QQ in Yangon, Myanmar

* See the Full photo album by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Ryusuke *

Information about the Myanmar new car market is slowly but surely trickling down, and now thanks to the hard work of Ryusuke I can share with you a photo album of the streets of the capital Yangon. As detailed in one of my previous Myanmar updates, with the government now selling import licenses to vehicle owners that turn over their junkers for smelting, new cars are now starting to be more frequent in the streets.

Toyota Carina Yangon 2012a. Picture by Ryusuke IkedaToyota Carina in Yangon, Myanmar

And Ryusuke’s photos confirm the Chery QQ is now a very common sights in Yangon, mainly as a taxi. As you know if you are a regular reader of BestSellingCarsBlog, QQ owners can easily rent the cars for K15,000 (US$17) a day to taxi drivers… An interesting motivation to want to own a car!

Yangon 2012d. Picture by Ryusuke IkedaStreet scene in Yangon, Myanmar

Now there are still many well travelled Toyota Corolla, Camry and Probox station wagons in the streets. But as far as new cars are concerned, we can start to notice the Toyota Yaris, Honda Jazz, Toyota Alphard and Honda Civic finding their way, as well as the Kia Bongo pick-up…

Previous Myanmar posts:

Myanmar: One of the Top 10 ‘Emerging engines of growth’

Myanmar 2012: Chery QQ3 the new favourite

Myanmar: More information needed.

Full photo album below.

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Categories: Myanmar

Myanmar: One of the Top 10 ‘Emerging engines of growth’

November 18th, 2012 No comments

Suzuki could start assembling cars in Myanmar in 2015

One week ago, I started a series called ‘the Top 10 emerging engines of growth’ as nominated by Business Monitor International and I started with Iraq. Myanmar is another one of these high potential markets. If you are a regular reader of BSCB you will know that Chery has started selling its QQ minicar to great success in the country. Business Monitor International  added that most of the sales growth potential in Myanmar should be fuelled by companies assembling locally as there is still a 165% tax on import models. Suzuki is investigating the possibility of replicating its success in India and Sri Lanka in Myanmar and could start assembling cars there in 2015, as well as Hyundai in the longer-term.

Check out more on the BMI website below.

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Categories: Myanmar

Myanmar 2012: Chery QQ3 the new favourite

August 24th, 2012 6 comments

The Chery QQ3 could be the 2nd Chinese model to rank #1 in an export market

* Many thanks to Myk for digging out this information! *

Up until now I had found it very hard to find even a little bit of information on the new car market in Myanmar, simply because local laws ignored intense demand and allowed the import of only a few thousand vehicles per year. Result: even hours of observation of YouTube videos of the streets of the capital Yangon got me nowhere. And on the downside for Myanmar buyers, this meant 1980’s Toyotas sold for nearly $30,000 locally…

Taxis in Yangon, Myanmar used to look like this…

But things are changing in Myanmar! The government is now selling import licenses to vehicle owners that turn over their junkers for smelting and the market is slowly becoming normalised. And just when I made a big fuss about the first Chinese model ranking #1 (officially) in an export market, it seems we may already have a second one…

…Now they look like this!

A notable breakout new car on Myanmar’s streets is the Chery QQ3. Patrick Winn from CNBC says you can’t stroll more than a few downtown blocks in Yangon without spotting a shiny, new Chery. Their fire-engine red paint jobs catch the eye in a sea of rust buckets. In fact, Chery’s own website claims that Myanmar’s government has “positioned QQ3 as a ‘national car.’”

The Chery QQ3 is brightening up Yangon’s streets

Last December, all 1,000 Chery QQ3 imported by the Ministry of Industry sold out within a week, in spite of seeing its original price, set by the ministry at US$5,800, more than double to US$12,800 once various duties, taxes and licensing fees were added. The reason why the QQ3 is so successful is because it has four doors and can easily be used for taxis because the small engines use little fuel. As a result, owners can easily rent the cars for K15,000 (US$17) a day to taxi drivers…

The same article from the Myanmar Times also mentions the Chery QQ3 is produced locally in Myanmar as the Myanmar Mini Wagon. However local consumers prefer the Chery as they feel the quality will be better. This is the first time I hear about the Myanmar Mini Wagon and I couldn’t find any pictures of it online so if you have more information about it please make sure to get in touch by commenting on here!

Source: Myanmar Times, Myanmar Life Blog. many thanks to Myk for the tip!

Categories: Myanmar

Myanmar: More information needed

November 20th, 2010 16 comments

* Click on title for more pictures! *

Observation of the streets of Yangon through YouTube videos bring to light a particular situation in the Myanmar car market: very high import taxes make new cars an out of reach prospect for most consumers, and in this context, the 1992 Toyota Corolla Station Wagon swarm the streets, and the 1998 Nissan Sunny and 1993 Suzuki Wagon R are also very present. A few extremely rare 2007 Toyota Corolla and 2005 Toyota Hilux can also be seen.

Please get in touch if you have any more info about this market!

More pictures below.

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Categories: Myanmar