DRB-Hicom aims growth in sales of Tata vehicles

Group is ready to venture into a larger playing eld in the commercial vehicle category and other selected segments


DRB-HICOM Commercial Vehicles Sdn Bhd (DHCV), which distributes India’s Tata brand of vehicles, expects to see growth this year with the introduction of three new vehicles in 2018 and a local assembly programme in the mid term.

DHCV noted that since its inception in 2015, a total of 654 Tata commercial vehicles, such as pickup trucks, light trucks and prime movers have been sold.

DRB-Hicom Bhd automotive, distribution, manufacturing and engineering COO Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah (picture) said the group is ready to venture into a larger playing field in the commercial vehicle category, as well as other selected segments.

“The last three years have been a learning curve for us. Come 2018, we are confident we have the right products in terms of technology, affordability and durability, to be truly competitive in the commercial vehicle category. We will be offering three new products — two in the light commercial vehicle segment and one in the small pickup segment,” he said in a statement yesterday.

DHCV COO Chin Tan Hee said the objective of bringing in new products for the pickup segment is to provide customers with more choices, while at the same time maintaining quality.

“Small pickups constitute 2% of the total segment. Tata Motors Ltd’s small pickup is a highly successful product, many of which are reliably plying the roads in other regional markets. We are confident it will help us gain a fair share of this promising and growing segment,” Chin said.

He expects to sell 150 units of the light-duty trucks and capture 2% of the market segment, but the group aims to capture 10% to 15% of the small pickup segment by 2022.

The Malaysian Automotive Association expects a 2.3% increase in total industry volume sales to 590, 000 units this year. It forecasts 63,500 units will consist of commercial vehicles, which will see a 2.5% year-on-year growth.

Last year, the commercial vehicle volume in Malaysia was at 61,956 units. Pickup sales totalled 41,316 units, while trucks sold 13,860 units and the remaining units sold were prime movers and buses.

Chin said as part of the government’s aspirations in promoting suppliers` ecosystem while creating new ones, a local assembly will be more fitting and at the same time, it creates new job opportunities.

The local assembly will be carried out by DRB-Hicom’s assembly plant in Pekan, Pahang, by Hicom Automotive Manufacturers (M) Sdn Bhd. DHCV aims to expand its network across the Peninsular and East Malaysia.