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Ford plant may go online ‘early April’

THE PHNOM PENH POST/ANN – Construction of RMA (Cambodia) Plc’s vehicle assembly plant is 100 per cent complete and installation of the facilities and equipment is nearing the 70 per cent mark, with all signs indicating that production could begin in early April, according to the locally-listed firm’s Chief Executive Officer Ngorn Saing.

The company has reportedly received approval from Ford Motor Co to manufacture Ranger pickups and Everest SUVs, and has signed a land leasing agreement for a 4ha site in Pursat province’s easternmost district of Krakor, as well as separate contracts with a construction manager and general contractor.

According to online news outlet Fresh News, the factory is located in Savoan village of central Krakor’s Sna Ansa commune. Ngorn Saing affirmed to The Post on Monday that the plant is in “Krakor Special Economic Zone”.

“Based on the progress and milestones we’ve achieved, I understand we’re right on schedule to fire up the assembly line before the upcoming Khmer New Year (on April 14),” he said. But this success is also accompanied by a number of speedbumps, notably those related to expensive logistics systems, Saing underlined.

Director-General of state-run electricity supplier Electricite du Cambodge (EdC) Keo Rottanak recently noted that the factory was the culmination of more than five years of efforts by authorities at all levels, and would contribute to the development of the province and bring new jobs for locals.

The factory is located in Savoan village of central Krakor’s Sna Ansa commune. PHOTO: THE PHNOM PENH POST/ANN

Barring unforeseen changes to the plan, the assembly plant “will start production during April before the Khmer New Year, within the territory of our Krakor district”, he declared.

“We are now trying to convince them (RMA) to bring in more of their partners to produce components in the territory of Krakor,” he said.

Saing recognised that the smooth progress of work on the plant was due to the support of authorities at every level, especially the preferential tax treatment received from the government and the assistance provided by the Council for the Development of Cambodia.

He said 200 employees had been recruited and trained for the first phase of the factory and would start work in late March or early April. Up to 500 workers will be needed in the second phase, he added.

“At this initial stage, we will assemble 4,500 vehicles a year to meet market demand. But the factory’s total annual production capacity is up to 10,000 units,” he said.

According to Saing, Ford has topped the domestic new-vehicle market for a number of years consecutively, with a 45-per-cent market share.

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