Singapore's largest bus maker to foray into Myanmar with $30m facility

Singapore SC Auto will be setting up a $30 million facility in Yangon, Myanmar with the help of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore.

Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

As part of its ramping up its business, the largest bus manufacturer in Singapore SC Auto will be setting up a $30 million facility in Yangon, Myanmar with the help of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore.

The 16,000-square meter hub will be able to increase the group's production by four times, allowing it to meet the growing demands for buses in Myanmar and in the South-east Asian region.

Expected to begin production the last quarter of last year, the facility marks SC Auto's first venture overseas after confining its operations in Singapore for over 20 years. It will be the first foreign bus manufacturer in Myanmar.

SC Auto is eyeing to produce over 100 buses in its first year and double its revenue. With its new market in Myanmar, it noted that manpower hires will likely to increase to 600. The bus manufacturer is also planning to invest in robotic welding for the new facility to increase greater efficiency in the production process.

SC Auto Chairman Tan Siow Chua said in a press statement that setting their sails for overseas markets is needed for the group to continue growing their business.

"With its demand for public transport, proximity to emerging South-east Asian countries, as well as the availability of land and relatively lower labour costs, Myanmar is the ideal location for our first venture overseas. IE Singapore came to us at a time when our business was at this turning point – its support and market connections gave us a strong push, making our entry into Myanmar much smoother and faster," he explained.

In Myanmar, demand for buses is on the uptrend given that they are the most common form of inter-city transportation. Its government has also been focussing on efforts to develop the country's transport connectivity, requiring a transport infrastructure investment worth up to US$60 billion by 2046.

IE Singapore has been SC Auto's key partner in this venture. Its Group Director for Transport & Logistics Law Chung Ming said in a statement that the institution will be helping SC Auto with understanding market regulatory issues and connecting with new customers.

"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. 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," he stated.