Malaysia auto sales to grow 1.4% in 2019 — Frost & Sullivan

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 17, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Frost & Sullivan expects Malaysia’s vehicles to grow 1.4% to reach 609,700 units in 2019, driven by consumer confidence throughout the year.

According to the market research firm, the key factors to push growth in the country’s automotive market this year include growth in domestic consumption and private investments, and new model launches.

“There are exciting product launches such as [the] Perodua Aruz and Toyota Yaris that are coming up. Proton X70’s launch in the fourth quarter of 2018 is likely to gain momentum, which is likely to contribute to growth in 2019,” said the firm’s associate partner and senior vice-president for mobility Vivek Vaidya.

Speaking at a media briefing yesterday, Vivek said the weak external sector and a slowdown in government spending may pose a threat to the growth of vehicle sales in 2019.

“Reduction in public infrastructure expenditure and [a] weak external sector are some of the restraints in 2019 which need to be overcome by positive consumer sentiments to stay on the growth path,” he said.

“While persistent high household debt will continue to encourage cautious spending, expected wage growth is likely to provide the requisite counterweight,” he added.

In his presentation, Vivek said Perodua remained the leader of the passenger vehicle segment in 2018 with a 41.5% market share, while Honda claimed second position with a 19.7% market share.

“Perodua continues to be the market leader in the passenger vehicle segment, driven by the high demand for its popular models, Axia and Bezza.

“Despite losing some market share, Honda has been firmly entrenched in the No 2 position for the last three years due to strong performance in [the sport utility vehicle] SUV and passenger car segments,” he added.

Meanwhile in the commercial vehicle segment, Vivek said Toyota continued to lead the pack with a commanding share of 32.7%, mainly due to strong sales of [the] Toyota Hilux. Isuzu remained in second position followed by Ford with 16.6% and 10.5% respectively.

“Commercial vehicle segment growth was aided by strong performance in the pickup as well as truck segments. Transport companies seem to have taken advantage of the tax holiday to modernise their fleets by purchasing new trucks,” he said.