American auto giant General Motors’ iconic Chevrolet brand vehicles will be available in Myanmar from the fourth quarter of this year following an agreement between GM and local conglomerate Pacific Alpine.
General Motors Southeast Asia Operations recently signed a letter of intent with Pacific Alpine Pte Ltd, for the distribution, sale and service of Chevrolet vehicles in Myanmar, a statement said.
The country’s first Chevrolet showroom is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2013, GM said.
Chevrolet models will be sourced from GM manufacturing facilities around the world to meet the specific requirements of Myanmar consumers, a GM announcement said.
Martin Apfel, president of GM Southeast Asia Operations, said: “This is a significant milestone for Chevrolet’s expansion across Southeast Asia, and signals our commitment to grow in the region. Myanmar has a population of 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 very high.
“The timing is perfect. We have a fresh and complete portfolio of award-winning products, ranging from pickup trucks and SUVs to cars and fashionable people carriers. At Chevrolet, we believe in building a strong brand backed by quality products that connect with customers everywhere.”
Chevrolet’s partners, Pacific Alpine Pte Ltd, and Pacific-AA Motor Ltd, are an alliance that was established by Alpine Group Singapore and AA Medical (Pacific-AA Group) Myanmar.
Alpine Motors, a part of Alpine Group, is Chevrolet and Opel’s current exclusive dealer in Singapore, while AA Medical is a distributor of pharmaceutical products and petrochemical lubricants in Myanmar.
Pacific Alpine and Pacific-AA Motor will engage in sales, marketing, training, aftersales and customer care, and network expansion.
Local media reports have said that Pacific Alpine Co Ltd will sell Chevrolet’s hallmark Saloon sedan for K25 million ($25,000), and a second showroom will be opened in Mandalay next year.
“One of the most-watched sectors in Myanmar is the automotive industry. About 90 percent 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,” said Albert Pang, managing director of Pacific Alpine Pte Ltd.
“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 a speedy market entry and penetration,” added Zaw Moe Khine, chairman and chief executive of Pacific Alpine Pte Ltd.
Gustavo Colossi, vice president of sales, marketing and customer care for GM Southeast Asia Operations, said: “Both Pacific Alpine and Chevrolet have a strong operating philosophy of quality and putting the customer at the centre of everything we do. With Pacific Alpine, the Chevrolet brand will be well-positioned for profitable and sustainable growth in Myanmar.”
The statement said Chevrolet and Pacific Alpine plans to launch a three-tier corporate social responsibility programme in Myanmar from August. In cooperation with One World Futbol Project, they will distribute ultra-durable footballs throughout Myanmar, make available Find New Roads – Chevy Cares vehicles to eight charitable organisations, and donate engines and technical parts to mechanical training colleges in Myanmar.
Chevrolet, colloquially referred to as Chevy, in 2012 sold 88,400 vehicles in Southeast Asia and had regional market share of 2.7 percent. In the first six months of 2013, Chevrolet sold 41,866 vehicles in the region, an increase of 5 percent on an annual basis.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year.