Malaysian Automotive Market Recovers to Reach 601,000 units in 2018

February 14, 2018

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Frost & Sullivan's Mobility team forecasts Malaysia's vehicle sales to grow 2.0% in 2018.

Frost & Sullivan forecasts Malaysia's vehicle sales to reach approximately 601,000 units in 2018 at a growth rate of 2.0 per cent. The Malaysian economy is expected to continue recording positive growth in 2018, driving consumer confidence throughout the year.

Mr. Vivek Vaidya, Senior Vice President of Mobility at Frost & Sullivan says the strengthening Ringgit is likely to reduce the import costs of parts and Complete Built-Up (CBU) models, helping contribute to price stabilization in 2018.

He added, "The launch of the Perodua Myvi in 2017 H2 as well as the launch of key models, including the highly anticipated Toyota CH-R in 2018, will also drive sales in 2018."

Conversely, Bank Negara Malaysia's continuous efforts to improve the quality of loans may make it difficult for low income families, young buyers and SMEs to secure loans, affecting the Total Industry Volume (TIV) in 2018.

"Other factors like the National Automotive Policy (NAP), improvement in public transport infrastructure as well as growth of ridesharing will impact the automotive market in Malaysia in the long term but are unlikely to have any significant impact in 2018," said Mr. Vaidya.

He continued, "While persistent high household debt will continue to encourage cautious spending, expected wage growth is likely to provide the requisite counterweight."

2017 Review

Vehicle demand in Malaysia went up by 1.6 per cent in 2017 as economic recovery and rising consumer confidence resulted in higher demand for passenger vehicles. However, commercial vehicle demand continued to contract for the 4th year in row amidst cautious business sentiment.

"Higher wages resulting from economic recovery led to improved consumer sentiment pushing up sales but were negated by restraints like accompanying inflationary pressures and stringent loan approvals," Mr. Vaidya said.

Passenger vehicles market share by OEMs in 2017

Passenger vehicles sales reached approximately 526,603 units in 2017, which is a 2.3 per cent increase over 2016. The MPV segment, backed by the strong sales of Honda BR-V, recorded a year-on-year growth of 27.2 per cent. The passenger car segment grew marginally while window vans and SUVs witnessed a decline in sales.

Perodua continues to lead the passenger vehicle segment with a 40.1 per cent share while Honda claimed second position with a 21.1 per cent market share.

"Despite losing some 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," said Mr. Vaidya. "Honda witnessed significant increase in market share with strong sales of the newly launched Honda BR-V and Honda CR-V."

Commercial vehicles market share by OEMs in 2017

Mr. Vaidya said that commercial vehicle sales declined 4.5 per cent to 62,606 units in 2017. Unstable Ringgit performance impacted borrowings and operating costs while higher inflation rate led to cautious spending for commercial vehicles.

He added, "However, economic growth and ongoing mega projects like the High Speed Rail (HSR) and Pan Borneo Highways acted as drivers for the late recovery towards the end of 2017."

Toyota continued to lead the commercial vehicles segment with a commanding share of 35.0 per cent. Toyota regained a large portion of the market share that it lost in 2016 thanks to strong sales of the Toyota Hilux. Isuzu and Nissan also strengthened their position with 19.1 per cent and 11.6 per cent market share respectively.

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