Cars out of stock following GST abolishment

OEMs are also scrambling to increase production and import volume to meet the spike in demand

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

CARS are selling like hot cakes since the zero-rated Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced, with some variants now out of stock.

Vehicle prices have become cheaper minus the earlier 6% GST and buyers in the country are taking the opportunity to buy new cars in this tax holiday period.

“Demand has superseded the supply. Brands like Perodua, Honda, Mazda and Toyota are selling fast. Some models have to wait for stocks,” Esperance Motors Sdn Bhd sales consultant Viyen Yeoh, who works as a full-timer for the Mitsubishi brand, told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

Yeoh declined to provide details in terms of numbers as figures and targets varied according to brands and dealers.

Broadly, she said “almost all” Honda models are out of stock, while the Mazda CX5 and Mitsubishi Outlander arealso among the hot sellers. Bermaz Auto Bhd ED Datuk Francis Lee previously told TMR that the bookings for Mazda have been increasing on a daily basis for all its model line-ups.

Another sales consultant, a full-timer for the Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) brand at Faresh Motor Sdn Bhd, Mohd Firdaus Ismail, told TMR that the demand for the Myvi, Axia Advance and Alza Full-Specifications variants are under a one-month waiting list.

He said the models normally could be delivered as quick as two days only, before the zerorated GST was introduced.

“Honda and Toyota customers would likely miss the 0% GST window due to stocks constraint,” he added.

Mohd Firdaus said he has collected between 35 to 50 bookings in the first week of June after the implementation of the new GST rate, as opposed to the previous average of 20 bookings.

At present, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are also scrambling to increase production or assembling volume, as well as import volume to meet the spike in demand.

According to a recent note by Hong Leong Investment Bank Research (HLIB), the waiting period for some car models has increased to three to four months.

Proton Holdings Bhd has recorded a 50% month-onmonth growth in sales — equivalent to 6,173 units — in June 2018, attributing the sales performance to the zero-rated GST and its “Duit Raya” promotion.

Proton Edar Sdn Bhd CEO Abdul Rashid Musa said the national car manufacturer’s market share had increased to 10% of total industry volume during the month under review compared to 9.5% in May 2018.

Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia Sdn Bhd MD Erik Winter told TMR that the company expects sales to increase by 50%, as the sales and bookings have been very encouraging since June 1.

Winter said demands have increased across all models, especially for its SUV Tiguan and Passat.

Premium carmaker Volvo Car Malaysia Sdn Bhd said showroom traffic has doubled in the last four weeks since the announcement of the tax break.

“All of our latest models are in high demand and we are meeting those demands by supplying the customers as quick as we can,” its official told TMR.

At present, Volvo’s best-selling models are the XC90, S90 and the XC60.