Malaysian Vehicle Sales Highest in ASEAN

Malaysian Vehicle Sales Highest in ASEAN

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Among the ASEAN countries, Malaysia registered the highest volume of new motor vehicle sales during the first six months of 2000 (H1 2000) with a total industry volume (TIV) of 163,721 units. Behind Malaysia was Indonesia with a TIV of 126,944 units and Thailand with 122,933 units. The figures were compiled by the ASEAN Automotive Federation (AAF) which has motor industry representatives from Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Reviewing the sales figures for the ASEAN region, AAF president Aishah Ahmad said that the TIV for the whole region had increased significantly compared to the same 6-month period in 1999 (H1 1999). This was reflected in the fact that the H1 2000 TIV was already 67% of the TIV for the whole of 1999 – 498,270 units for six months against last year’s whole-year total of 740,953 units. Statistics from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar were, however, not included due to non-availability but those markets are still fairly small and would not make a significant difference to the overall picture.

“The change in government and a degree of positive economic movement in Indonesia saw the country’s TIV [for H1 2000] rise to 126,944 units which was 33,110 units greater than the TIV for the whole of 1999,” said Cik Aishah, who is also chairman of the Automotive Federation of Malaysia and president of the Malaysian Automotive Association.

The figures show that Malaysia has the largest passenger car segment in ASEAN (134,078 units or 81.9% of the Malaysian H1 2000 TIV)) while Thailand has the largest volume of commercial vehicles (82,698 units, inclusive of 3,544 4WDs, or 67.3% of its H1 2000 TIV). Indonesia’s commercial vehicle segment is also substantially larger than its passenger car segment but figures for H1 2000 were not available. However, in 1999, commercial vehicles plus 4WDs accounted for 88.2% of all new vehicles sold there.

The affluence of Singapore is quite apparent in the fact that in spite of its small population, its H1 2000 passenger car sales totalled 26,445 units whereas the Philippines, with a larger population, saw a passenger car volume of just 15,264 units. However, more commercial vehicles/4WDs were sold in the Philippines to give it a TIV of 41,523 units.

Tiny Brunei’s H1 2000 TIV was 2,342 units of which 85.6% were passenger cars while Vietnam had a TIV of 5,918 units with 2,829 passenger cars sold. When compared to 1999 total sales, the Vietnam market looks promising as the H1 2000 TIV is just 15% short.

Forecast for 2000
If no disasters and economic shocks occur for the next six months, the AAF forecasts the year to end with ASEAN TIV past one million units – 1,059,913 units to be exact. “This figure is in line with the global belief that the ASEAN region is still a very important market with great growth potential,” noted Cik Aishah.

Contributing to the million-unit achievement is the Indonesian market which is expected to register a 155% jump in sales from 1999’s 93,834 units to 240,000 units. However, the 21% increase forecast for Malaysia will still see our country’s vehicle sales being the highest in the region at 350,000 units (about 33% of the ASEAN TIV forecast). Singapore has also been forecast to record significant growth of 83% to bring its TIV for the year to 98,056 units. But the AAF doesn’t see the Philippines doing a lot better and has forecast only a 2.8% increase over the 1999 TIV of 74,414 units. Even Vietnam is expected to at least record a 44% increase in sales.

Responding to a question concerning the likelihood of some tax breaks for the non-national makes in Malaysia, Cik Aishah told AUTOWORLD.COM.MY that the MAA does not expect anything to be announced during the presentation of the 2001 Budget this October.

Waiting for AFTA
And looking further ahead at 2005 – the year when Malaysia has agreed to lower import duties for all makes to between 0% and 5% as per the AFTA agreement – she said that the MAA is now having discussions with the government to find a way to avoid the sudden reduction in prices on January 1st 2005 which could cause sales in the second half of 2004 to stagnate as buyers defer purchases.

“The scenario [of buyers deferring purchases] cannot be discounted as, so far, it appears to the MAA that when the import duties are removed, the change will occur at one go and not phased over the coming years,” she said. However, she added that the MAA members are also confident that they can face the challenges of more rivals coming into the Malaysian market after 2005.


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