The Korean manufacturer aims to increase its market share in Myanmar to over 15 % in the next three or four years, buoyed by the huge popularity of South Korean culture in the country.
Kolao Holdings, the only dealer for the automaker there, said Hyundai Motor, which opened its first showroom in Yangon in August, aims to further up the tally to 14 dealerships in major cities by 2018 as it seeks to swarm the small, but growing market dominated by Japanese carmakers.
“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, the “Korean Wave” or Hallyu, has been fashionable through Asia in recent years – gathering billions of dollars in revenue from drama and pop music. Myanmar’s car market started to increase around 2011, after the quasi-civilian government of President Thein Sein was placed instead of the former military government, allowing older cars to be traded for permits to import newer models. Myanmar will have 331,468 passenger cars registered this year, an increase of 24 % over 2012, according to Kolao. Hyundai Motor, which sells the Starex van and Elantra small sedan in Myanmar, wants sales of 1,500 cars next year in the country, Oh said.