Monday, July 2, 2012

Cambodia - Phnom Penh (city of Lexus)

I have visited many Asian and French cities but I never found one having such great concentration of Lexus vehicle. For both Manila and Ho Chi Minh cities, having countless of Innovas is not surprising anymore. Even the ant-like numbers of upscale Fortuner and Pajero/Montero Sports in other Asian cities like Manila and Bangkok won't even make me raise my eyebrow but Lexus?

When I visited S21 and The Killing Fields while in Phnom Penh City, I was astonished because everywhere I gazed I kept on seeing Lexus and some of them were V8. Trust me, Lexus is everywhere in Phnom Penh city. You'd find one in every street and boulevard. I never thought that being a third world country, Cambodians will prioritize a luxury brand vehicle instead of the mass-produced models by Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan and other Korean knick knacks. Even in wealthy Singapore, you will seldom see Lexus.

Because of this, I asked one of the local guys I met in PP why there were so many Lexus vehicles around. He replied that most of the Lexus were brought in Cambodia as second hand units thus many Cambodians see Lexus as the most affordable high end brand of SUV. More so, the built quality is good due to Toyota workmanship thus any Lexus owner can easily sell his Lexus to fellow Cambodians. On top of this, he stated that Lexus in Cambodia symbolizes the emerging wealthy and elite Cambodians who love to flaunt their new-found wealth.

 As for me, brand new or not, Lexus is Lexus. Anyway, here are some of the Lexus SUV caught by my cam around Phnom Penh city.

parked side by side

V8 Lexus


  1. Pretty cool observation. I reckon PP peeps love their Toyotas. I've seen heaps of Toyota models when we went about 5 years ago, even the car that my buddy crashed into (he was on a bike) was a Toyota. Haha.

  2. I'm in Phonom penh now sat on the street and asked myself the very same question every 3rd car that goes by is a SUV Lexus . I Asked a local Tuk Tuk driver who said a lot of people who now work for communist govnment have become rich over the last 6 or 7. Years and now own hotels and guest houses ,there's still a lot of poverty here but if you went off the general vehicles parked on the streets you wouldn't think this was a developing country.

  3. The question is why people in Cambodia love SUV overall? I think because poor road infrastructures with many pot hole and flooded at every rainy seasons. SUVs are high wheel that can protect the car engine and the people inside while running through these muddy and flooded road. To alleviate this, the government has to overhaul the road infrastructure from the bottom. Of course, it is a burden to middle class people in term of car price and gasoline consumption.