SINGAPORE - Bus manufacturer SC Auto announced on Monday (June 12) it is setting up a S$30 million facility in Yangon, Myanmar with support from International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, as it seeks further growth for its business.
The 16,000 square meter facility, slated to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2018, will enable SC Auto to increase its production by four times, allowing it to meet the growing demands of both Myanmar and the region, the company said in a release issued on Monday.
The announcement, which comes on the back of the 6th Singapore-Myanmar Joint Ministerial Working Committee meeting held in Singapore, marks SC Auto's first foray overseas after focusing operations in Singapore for over 20 years, making it the first foreign bus manufacturer in Myanmar.
"Having built a strong foothold in Singapore, we needed to look overseas to continue to grow our business," Mr Tan Siow Chua, chairman of SC Auto, said. "With its demand for public transport, proximity to emerging Southeast Asian countries, as well as availability of land and relatively lower labour costs, Myanmar is the ideal location for our first venture overseas."
The company which has strong operations in Singapore has already been exporting buses to Myanmar. The new in-market manufacturing facility will allow it to be closer to its customers and respond more quickly to their requirements, the company said. It aims to produce over 100 buses in its first year in Myanmar and double its revenue. With the added international operations, manpower hires will increase to 600.
SC Auto will also invest in robotic welding for this facility, yielding greater efficiency in the production process.
IE Singapore, a key partner in SC Auto's journey to develop its internationalisation strategy and operational plans, helped the company navigate Myanmar and familiarise it with the business landscape, understand market regulatory issues and connect with new customers. SC Auto also tapped into IE Singapore's Internationalisation Finance Scheme to support the set-up.
"As the first approved foreign bus manufacturing company in Myanmar, SC Auto has the first mover advantage to address the huge demand in the country," Mr Law Chung Ming, Group Director for Transport & Logistics, IE Singapore, said. "With rapid urbanisation in Southeast Asia, there is a pressing need for transport and logistics solutions to enhance domestic and intra region connectivity. This presents excellent business opportunities for Singapore land transport companies, such as SC Auto, to export reliable land transport solutions and create quality jobs for Singaporeans."