Ford Motor Co. opened a car dealership in Myanmar on April 30, 2013 – the first Western vehicle store in the country. Ford hopes its model could capture the Myanmar market share from Japanese brands, which have been dominating the country. Western carmakers were much slower to commit to Myanmar than their Asian rivals, due to strict sanctions that were recently suspended or lifted by the United States and European countries.
Ford opened its first showroom in Myanmar in Yangon, where sales could be boosted by a current ban on motorbikes. The showroom is a result of a partnership between the carmaker unveiled and Capital Automotive Ltd, a subsidiary of Capital Diamond Star Group.
Japanese carmakers like Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co Ltd. already have dealerships in Myanmar, while Suzuki Motor Corp. resumed production of trucks in May after a three-year break.
Under the military junta that ruled Myanmar until March 2011, car imports were restricted, making them very expensive. The quasi-civilian government took over and implemented a policy change in September 2011, prompting some carmakers to sell cars in the country. A new foreign investment law may persuade more carmakers to set up operations in the country.