Honda's new showroom and head office, the New Chip Xeng (NCX) Complex, officially opened yesterday after over a year of construction in Sikhottabong district, Vientiane.
“It's an investment of about 24 billion kip (US$3 million), including the cost of construction, furniture, and installation of equipment,” said NCX Group Vice President Mr Saneu Chounramany in an interview at the opening ceremony.
The ceremony also marked the 20th anniversary of NCX, which is the Honda supplier to Laos and a Thai investment.
Asia Honda Motor Chairman Mr Hiroshi Kobayashi said the new showroom combines all of Honda's products, namely motorcycles, automobiles and power equipment, together.
“It's a long history from Chip Xeng to NCX. This long-term relationship represents mutual trust and respect as a key Honda business partner,” Mr Hiroshi said.
NCX Group Chairman Dr Khanchai Kaitsrithanakorn said the company supplies, and offers after-sales services for, motorcycles, cars and power products.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Mr Siaosavath Savengsuksa said the company was established in 1991, starting as a medium scale entity and, owing to rapid success, shifting to investment in automobile assembly to local manufacturing of Honda motorcycle spare parts for the domestic market and regional customers.
“The company has enhanced the technical capacity of spare parts production, playing a major role in supplying the parts industry in Laos as well as Honda's regional customers,” Dr Khanchai said.
The major spare parts export markets for Laos are Vietnam and Cambodia.
Mr Saneu said the company also plans to expand its current factory output in the near future to meet increasing demand from both local and export markets.
Currently it has 46 showrooms and dealers nationwide. “This will be sufficient to facilitate market demand for the next five years,” Mr Saneu said.
NCX has grown progressively from single sector to multi sector investment “including hotels and tourism, agriculture and forestry and health,” Mr Siaosavath said.
It now operates many different businesses in the transport sector, as well as a motorcycle assembly factory, a zoo, hotels and rubber plantations.
It also contributes to social activities such as building schools, road and bridge construction, and repair and expansion of electricity and irrigation networks, and temples. It recently cooperated with UNODC and the Singapore Embassy to Laos to establish a motor repair training unit at the Somsa-gna Drug Rehabilitation Centre in Vientiane.
Since the sale of the first Honda Super Cub, NCX together with Honda has continuously offered new products. Since 1991, the company has distributed, assembled, manufactured and sold more than 200,000 motorcycles through authorised dealers nationwide.
NCX was founded by Dr Khanchai after he first visited Japan in 1964 to meet with Mr Soichiro Honda and start importing Honda motorbikes into Laos.