BANGALORE (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. said it began operating today in Myanmar, a country isolated for five decades until the U.S. eased sanctions last year.
The automaker will open its first dealership in Yangon, the former capital, in partnership with Capital Automotive Ltd., a unit of Myanmar's Capital Diamond Star Group, Ford said in an e-mailed statement. Initial models for sale include the F-series and Ranger pickup trucks, Ford said.
Ford follows India's Tata Motors Ltd. and Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp. in setting up operations in Myanmar as the country enhances economic and political ties with Western nations following years of military rule. Ford, which will import models for sale in Myanmar from Thailand and the U.S., said its entry into the country is part of an "aggressive expansion" in the Asia-Pacific region.
"We see tremendous potential and opportunity for Ford in Myanmar," David Westerman, Asia Pacific regional manager for the company's export and growth operations, said in the statement. Through the partnership, Ford is "well-positioned to fully realize the huge potential of this market over the long term," he said.
Myanmar President Thein Sein's efforts to end five decades of military rule have been rewarded with an easing of U.S. and European sanctions.