Ford Will Be First Major Automaker to Roll Into Myanmar

by Christopher Freeburn | May 1, 2013 10:41 am

Ford Motor Company[1]As Myanmar attempts to shed it authoritarian past and opens again to the world, global companies are moving into its market[2].

On Monday, Ford (NYSE:F[3]) said that it will open a showroom and begin auto sales in the Southeast Asian country. Among the first Ford vehicles for sale in Myanmar will be its F-Series pickups and Ford Rangers, imported from its manufacturing plants in Thailand and North America, CNN notes.

Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar spent more than half a century under restrictive military rule. During that time the country cut off relations with most of the world. However, after a referendum in 2008, the country has taken steps toward democracy.

Myanmar has a population of about 60 million, but new vehicles are rare due to the country’s prolonged isolation.

Global consumer products makers have taken notice. Last year, Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO[4]) announced that it would return to the country[5].

Other major manufacturers, including Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT[6]) and General Electric (NYSE:GE[7]) are also moving to expand operations in Myanmar.

Shares of Ford fell almost 1% in Wednesday morning trading.

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