TOKYO Feb 6 Suzuki Motor Corp will
start manufacturing 100 small trucks a month in Myanmar in May,
the Japanese automaker said on Wednesday, after it received
approval from the Myanmar government to resume production in the
Southeast Asian country.
The move will make Suzuki the only Japanese automaker to be
producing vehicles in Myanmar, where many foreign companies are
seeking to expand as the country embarks on economic reforms.
Suzuki used to build vehicles in Myanmar for 11 years, until
"We plan to expand production and sales of four-wheel
vehicles from now on in Myanmar, which is undergoing economic
liberalisation and infrastructure development," the company said
in a statement.
Suzuki, Japan's No. 4 automaker by sales, will utilise its
existing plant in Yangon, and about 80 to 90 employees will be
involved in operations there, spokesman Hideki Taguchi said. The
small trucks produced there will be sold in Myanmar, he added.
Suzuki, whose Indian subsidiary Maruti Suzuki is
the top producer of small cars in India, has said it is also
considering building a new plant in Myanmar, although Chairman
Osamu Suzuki has said it could take years to be completed.
Suzuki produced about 6,000 automobiles and 10,000
motorbikes in total in Myanmar between 1999 and 2010 under a
joint venture that included Japanese trading house Toyota Tsusho
Corp. The venture ended in 2010 after its business
licence from the government expired.
Suzuki is scheduled to release its third-quarter earnings
results on Thursday.
(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Chris Gallagher)