Iconic English Automaker Rolls Into Cambodia

Rolls-Royce, one of the world’s most lavish car manufacturers and distributors, on Monday an­nounced its official entry into the Cambodian market, naming the local HGB Group Co. Ltd. as its sole distributor.

And while the price of a car reaches $450,000—about 175 times the country’s per capita annual income—company executives said they fielded enough interest in the luxury vehicles to justify opening in one of the world’s poorest countries.

Models on Monday stand beside the Rolls-Royce Ghost, a $450,000 car that will be available in Cambodia once construction of the company's showroom is complete later this year. (Siv Channa)
Models on Monday stand beside the Rolls-Royce Ghost, a $450,000 car that will be available in Cambodia once construction of the company’s showroom is complete later this year. (Siv Channa)

“We are committed to see this brand succeed in Cambodia,” Ray Long, managing director of HGB Group, told a crowd of about 100 people Monday during a news conference announcing the partnership at the Sofitel Hotel.

The HGB Group, which is owned by Cambodian businessman Ngov Leang Houth, is currently the distributor for automakers Mazda and Kia.

Paul Harris, Asia Pacific regional director for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said Monday that people in Cambodia had for years been reaching out to the company and noted that some Cambodians al­ready own a Rolls-Royce car.

“We know there is quite a high interest in Cambodia,” he said.

But Mr. Harris declined to say how many cars the company expects to sell yearly in Cam­bodia or disclose its target for the market.

“We don’t release specifics,” he said.

Mr. Harris said the contract between Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and the HGB Group was for five years and that four cars would be on display later this year when the 465-square-meter showroom opens in Phnom Penh’s Veal Vong commune.

Two of the cars on display will be the four-door Rolls-Royce Ghost and the sportier two-door Rolls-Royce Wraith. Mr. Harris said the Ghost in Cambodia would start at $450,000, including taxes.

Cham Prasidh, senior minister and minister of industry and handicrafts, said Monday that luxury products in Cambodia were on the rise and that there was enough room in the market for Rolls-Royce to sell its cars.

“There’s a lot of okhnas now in Cambodia who have money to buy these cars,” he said. “Thank you for making this car for sale for Cambodians, and I hope more Cambodians can afford the cars.”

Chinese media reported Monday that Mr. Prasidh estimated there were more than 10 Rolls-Royce cars in Cambodia.

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