British luxury auto maker Rolls Royce has set its sights on one of Asia’s poorest but fastest growing nations: Cambodia.
The company joined forces with a Cambodian business partner to open its first showroom in the capital Phnom Penh in the fourth quarter this year.
“We’ve got a number of key clients there and they’ve been asking us for a number of years to come to Cambodia and look after their Rolls Royces. That spurred us on to look at the market in more detail,” Paul Harris, regional director, Asia Pacific of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars told CNBC.
“And we decided it was the right time to move into Cambodia – a market that we see as expanding and going in the right direction,” he continued.
Cambodia is among the world’s poorest countries, with annual income per capita of around $950, according to the World Bank, a fraction of the cost of the cheapest Rolls Royce.
However, it’s one of the fastest growing economies in the region. Cambodia’s economy expanded 7.4 percent in 2013, led by an acceleration of garment exports and continued growth in tourism.
“We don’t expect it to be a huge market for us, but it’s a very important market,” Harris said.
With the addition of a dealership in Cambodia, Rolls Royce has presence in 15 markets and 26 cities in the Asia Pacific region outside of China.
The company recently inaugurated new dealerships in emerging markets including the Philippines and Vietnam.
SOURCE: CNBC Asia