Honda Malaysia had a bumper year in 2017, selling a record 109,511 vehicles, and making Honda the leading non-national brand in Malaysia (this is its 3rd consecutive year in this position). In terms of overall Total Industry Volume (TIV), its 19% local market share gives it the No. 2 position (2nd consecutive year) after Perodua.
Honda Malaysia just launched the Odyssey facelift a couple of days ago but the projected annual sales of 130 units of this will not have a significant impact on the company’s target of 109,000 vehicles in 2018. Honda will be launching another vehicle later this year to help contribute to its sales target, but it has so far only confirmed it’s a front-wheel-drive model so see if you’ve guessed it correctly when it teases the launch.
The balance to meet its 2018 sales target will be its existing line-up, all of which are currently market leaders in their respective segments. Incidentally, Honda Malaysia has projected 2018 TIV will reach 600,000 vehicles, giving their target of 109,000 vehicles an 18% market share. Perodua, the overall market leader, had projected 2018 TIV to be slightly lower at 590,000.
To maintain its leading position (and with only 2 model introductions planned for this year), Honda Malaysia will continue to further penetrate the East Malaysia market but will place significant focus on its after-sales service or what it terms as the ‘Joy of Buying’.
“According to our internal survey, our Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) score has increased by 23 points compared to the previous year. To further provide more Joy, we will significantly enhance this area in 2018. As customer satisfaction is Honda’s No. 1 priority, this year we are focusing on the three main areas of dealer expansion and customer experience, skilled associates at dealers, and customers’ virtual touchpoint. Towards this end, customer satisfaction will be the main emphasis in 2018. The total investment to enhance Honda’s operation and after-sales is estimated at RM31 million,” said Honda Malaysia Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Toichi Ishiyama.
In 2018, the company has planned to open another 7 dealerships, ranging from 3S and 2S centres to Body & Paint centres, to provide more convenience to customers and to meet the increase in demand for after-sales service borne from higher vehicle sales in the past few years. Further, current dealerships will also be upgraded to meet the company’s new corporate identity and service standards.
To provide more customer convenience, the company will also open Express Dealers where customers can service their vehicles within 1.5 hours instead of the regular 2 hours for normal servicing. The first Express Dealer is in Glenmarie, Shah Alam (HZN Express 2S Centre).
The increase in servicing intakes also requires an increase in skilled manpower, thus Honda Malaysia is collaborating with a public vocational college and a private automotive college where selected students and graduates will undergo a 6-month training programme to become certified technicians for Honda Malaysia. The training will incorporate the Fixed Right First Time (FRFT) standard which is a key component to customer satisfaction.
Convenient accessibility for customers is also taken into account with Honda Malaysia planning to start an after-sales portal later this year to make it easy for customers to make bookings for service appointments, track the progress status of their vehicles, and check service history and product updates.
Additionally, the Honda Toll-Free call centre will now operate 365 days a year, 13 hours a day (9am – 10pm).