Nissan Gears up to Open Factory in Pegu Division

By Kyaw Hsu Mon 18 February 2016

RANGOON — In a statement on Wednesday, Japan’s Nissan announced that it will open a factory in Burma later this year, and it pledged to produce 10,000 vehicles per year.

According to the press release, the new facility, delayed from last year, will be located in Pegu Division northeast of Rangoon.

Since 2013 Nissan has been assembling vehicles from parts from other factories in the region, including Thailand. Nissan intends to use the facility of its Malaysia-based manufacturing partner Tan Chong Motor Group until the new site in Burma is opened.

“Nissan is pleased to have the opportunity to be part of new motoring growth in [Burma],” said company vice president Toru Hasegawa in the statement. Nissan and Tan Chong Motor Group signed a facility-use contract with Pegu Division officials on Wednesday.

As preparation for the facility launch, some 200 employees are being trained at the Tan Chong plant in Malaysia, with the broader aim of transferring knowledge and skills to the local workforce. Nissan and Tan Chong will also work to expand their business network, which currently includes both an office and dealers in Rangoon.

The project on an 80-acre site is slated to be a state-of-the-art industrial complex. It will be the largest automobile manufacturing site in Burma and the first in Pegu Division. Spurred by Burma’s economic and political reforms, industry officials anticipate demand to grow rapidly.

Soe Tun, chairman of the Myanmar Automobile Dealers Association, said he is optimistic that Nissan’s expansion to Burma will bode well for the country’s automobile industry.

“That Nissan is building a factory here is a good sign for the local market,” he said.

This will be the second production start-up by a Japanese vehicle manufacturer. In 2013 the Suzuki Motor Corporation announced it would re-open its Rangoon factory.

The first locally manufactured Nissan car in Burma will be the Sunny, adding to a line-up that first kicked off in 2013 with a range of cars, sport utility vehicles and vans.