Good data is essential for making good business decisions and safe products. An understanding of what brands, models, and engine sizes are in demand helps automotive importers prepare sales and production plans, decide what spare parts to keep in stock, and understand for which models and engines technical training is required. Access to registration data allows brands to measure how they are performing against competitors. Without an understanding of what is selling today, importers are left unsure when it comes to deciding what to sell tomorrow and how and where to market it.
It also helps businesses better protect their consumers and improve road safety by allowing for faster and more meticulous product recalls in case of failures. Of course, detailed information related to the ownership of individual vehicles (name, ID number, address, telephone number, etc.) should be protected by data privacy and, in fact, is not required for the uses mentioned herein. A good balance between wider availability of market data and data privacy can be achieved.
On a longer-term basis, importers and distributors need to know where their brand’s sales occur in order to make investment decisions related to the location of showrooms, workshops, parts depots, storage yards, and pre-delivery inspection centres. Today, the only data publicly available to importers in Cambodia is the total number of vehicles registered per year in three categories: motorcycles, light-duty vehicles, and heavy-duty vehicles. This is available on an annual basis and is insufficient to assist in meaningful decision making.
Impact on business
The lack of detailed data on vehicle registrations in Cambodia can have a number of detrimental effects for car distributors, the wider business environment, and drivers.
Without this data, distributors are unable to track market trends, assess the competition, or set prices competitively. This can lead to distributors importing cars that are not in demand or not importing enough cars to meet demand. As a result, they may lose market share to competitors. In recent years, leading car distributors – such as Star Auto, Audi, and Range Rover – have been dismantling their business operations in Cambodia, citing this very reason.
The lack of transparent automotive market data in Cambodia makes it difficult for potential investors to assess the size and growth potential of the market. This can lead to investors being hesitant to invest in the country, as they are not sure whether the market is large enough or growing fast enough to be profitable. In addition, the lack of data makes it difficult for investors to track the performance of their investments. This can make it difficult to make informed decisions about whether to continue investing in the country or to withdraw their investment. Overall, the lack of transparent automotive market data in Cambodia makes it a less attractive destination for investment.
- Provide authorised automotive distributors with selected data on vehicle registrations on a quarterly basis.
The Automotive Committee respectfully suggests that the following data be made available by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) on a quarterly basis for all vehicles registered. A single standard listing of data would be usable by all brands.
The data required would ideally include:
- Year and month of registration;
- Province of registration;
- Model year;
- Engine size (cc).
It should also be noted that members of the Automotive Committee are regularly contacted by business consultants looking for reliable quantitative data concerning the size and composition of the Cambodian automotive industry. These consultants have been hired to assist with investment decisions in the automotive industry, for example, by brands considering entering the market, multi-brand workshops, and aftermarket parts suppliers.
Therefore, the Automotive Committee also suggests that this information would be helpful to both companies that have already invested in Cambodia and those considering doing so. At a minimum, it would be worthwhile to make the basic information regarding the size of the industry available to the various statistics-sharing platforms that provide automotive industry data.
Royal government of Cambodia
Initiative from Eurocham: The issue has been raised by Automotive Committee within The White Book edition 2024 in the Recommendation No. 13.
The Automotive Committee, also raised this point at the occasion of a courtesy call on H.E. Leng Thunyuthea, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport on the Wednesday 24th of January 2024.
The Ministry of Public Works and Transport, at the occasion of a courtesy call between EuroCham and the Ministry – represented by H.E. Leng Thunyuthea, on the 24th of January 2024 replied on this matter. The MPWT explained that for publication of data vehicles registration EuroCham can send a form to the MPWT and will share the data with the informations of interest for the committee.
Mr. Chhoeurn Makara