Honda Malaysia upbeat on sales this year

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By TMR File

Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd remains upbeat on the local auto market despite retaining a conservative sales target of 109,000 units this year.

The local subsidiary of the Japanese carmaker giant that had retained the No 2 position for the most number of vehicles sold last year, anticipates a competitive market this year.

The carmaker, which is popular with the Civic, CR-V and Accord models, expects to capture about 18% of the total market share with an internal projection of 600,000 total industry volume this year.

“We believe the national brand cars will continue to dominate the market, a spillover from last year launches and this year.

“The competition is going to be very tough. Even at 109,000 units, it would be very challenging considering our model line-up for this year,” its head of sales division Jahabarnisa told The Malaysian Reserve in Shah Alam yesterday.

In 2017, the Japanese marque delivered a record sale 109,511 units, or 19% of the total market share, maintaining its leading position as the top non-national car brand for the third consecutive year. Honda Malaysia sold 91,830 vehicles in 2016.

This year, Honda Malaysia is expected to launch two new models, including the newly unveiled Honda Odyssey.

The company aims to sell 130 units of the premium MPV annually, in a country where demands for such vehicles remain strong.

The new Odyssey — equipped with Honda SENSING, joining the SUV (Honda CR-V) and sedan (Honda Accord) with the advanced safety technology.

Honda Malaysia also plans to introduce a new corporate identity for a fresher brand image.

Seven more dealerships are expected to open this year comprising 3S (sales, service and spare parts) and 2S centres, as well as body-paint centres. The company is also going to launch a new after-sales portal to enhance its customer experience.

The new Honda Odyssey is open for bookings and priced at RM254,800 (without insurance).