SEOUL Oct 29 Hyundai Motor aims to
raise its market share in Myanmar to over 15 percent in the next
three or four years, basking in the huge popularity of South
Korean culture, the sole dealer for the automaker in the country
said on Tuesday.
Hyundai Motor, which opened its first showroom in Yangon in
August, plans to set up 14 dealerships in major cities by 2018
as it seeks to crack into the small, but growing market
dominated by Japanese carmakers, Kolao Holdings
"Young people in Myanmar who watch Korean dramas visit our
showroom and look for cars that were shown in the dramas," Oh
Sei-young, chief executive of Kolao Holdings, said at a media
briefing. "Hyundai is really keen on the Myanmar market."
South Korean culture, known as the "Korean Wave" or Hallyu,
has swept through Asia in recent years generating billions of
dollars in revenue from drama and pop music.
Myanmar's car market started to bloom around 2011, after the
quasi-civilian government of President Thein Sein took over from
the military government, allowing some old cars to be swapped
for permits to import newer models.
Myanmar will have a total 331,468 passenger cars registered
this year, up 24 percent from a year earlier, according to
Kolao, adding only six out of 1,000 people own cars there.
Most of the cars are Japanese, which dominate most Southeast
Asian auto markets such as Indonesia.
The likes of Nissan Motor and Ford Motor have
raced to gain a foothold in the Myanmar market, spurred by the
government's loosening of import regulations on new cars in
Hyundai Motor, which sells the Starex van and Elantra small
sedan in Myanmar, targets sales of 1,500 cars next year in the
country, Oh said.
In neighbouring Laos, Kolao Holdings imports and sells new
cars from Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and China's Chery,
and assembles knock-down kits of second-hand imported cars,
controlling 37 percent of the country's imported car market.
Kolao Holdings said in a filing on Monday that it plans to
raise about $150 million through share sales in Singapore to
help boost auto financing business in Laos, Myanmar and