KAMAZ eyes further expansion into Asian markets

The manufacturer considers setting up an assembly plant in Cambodia

KAMAZ eyes further expansion into Asian markets Photo: Artem Svetlov

Tatarstan's KAMAZ will try to enter the heavy-duty truck market of Cambodia. This week, the manufacturer has signed an agreement with local WorldBridge International logistic conglomerate to develop distribution across the country. The Cambodian company is seeking an opportunity to bring in affordable trucks into the market to reduce existing high logistics costs.

KAMAZ Foreign Trade Company signed an agreement with Cambodian logistic company WorldBridge International with the final goal of establishing an assembly plant in the Kingdom, says The Phnom Penh Post. Within the framework of the three-stage MoU, WorldBridge is to conduct a three-month market survey to estimate the potential for KAMAZ sales in the local market. After that, the Cambodian party will receive sole distribution rights for heavy-duty KAMAZ trucks that can be used for container shipping, construction and mining activities. In the final stage, a local assembly plant will be set up.

According to WorldBridge's chairman Sear Rithy, logistics costs in Cambodia are from two to three times higher than in neighbouring countries, and most of the trucks are second-hand. The cooperation can bring in new more affordable trucks into the market and thus help drive down the costs of logistics, considers Rithy. ''If the deal works out, we could be assembling the trucks within two to three years,'' he said. The plant will be established in Kerry WorldBridge Logistics special economic zone, which is a joint venture of the Cambodian company and Hong Kong-based Kerry Logistic Network Ltd.

Kamaz truck in Battambang, Cambodia. Photo: Ilya Plekhanov

Tronin Artyom, KAMAZ sales representative in Vietnam and Eastern Asia, said that the company has doubled its sales in Vietnam in the past two years despite road weight restrictions limiting trucks use. He declined to estimate how many trucks the manufacturer could sell in Cambodia but said that the company will focus on the 15- to 25-tonne segment used for construction and container shipments.

''We have signed this document because we have found a strong partner to help us enter the [Cambodian] market,'' commented Tronin. ''Right now we are just seeing if there is an import market for us here before we move forward with the other stages of the MoU. We have been seeing growth in our overseas sales worldwide and we think Cambodia could potentially be a good market. But we will only move forward when the time is right.''

By Anna Litvina