Perodua, Mazda sell more cars as Honda, Proton and Toyota sales decline

Overall TIV for the passenger vehicle closed at 533,202 units in 2018, a 3.6% rise as a result of the tax-free period along with new launches

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

Perodua and Mazda were the big winners among passenger car players last year, taking over a size-able market from other popular brands including Honda, Proton and Toyota, amid uncertainties which unfolded during the historical election year.

Based on the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) figures, Perusahaan Otomotif Kedua Sdn Bhd’s (Perodua) market share rose 2.8% to 42.8% last year.

Bermaz Auto Bhd (BAuto), the OEM for Mazda, increased its market share by 1.2% to 3% during the same period.

In terms of sales volume, Perodua sold 227,243 units in 2018, up 10.9% from 204,887 in 2017, while Mazda saw its volume jumped 66.8% from 9,454 units to 15,765.

The bulk of the deliveries were boosted by Perodua’s new Myvi which was launched in November 2017 and the sales momentum glided into 2018.

Similarly, BAuto’s success story was largely driven by the new CX-5, which was launched in October 2017.

Mazda strode two steps upwards to the sixth position in market share rank, relegating the country’s leading premium brands Mercedes-Benz and BMW one rank down to the seventh and eighth positions respectively.

The SUV CX-5 sales volume rose to 15,765 units, primarily during the three-month tax holiday and the model achieved a 66.8% jump in volume in 2018 from the previous year.

“The zero-Goods and Services Tax (GST) from June to August 2018 helped increase our sales. Our stra-tegy of selling and absorbing the Sales and Services Tax post-GST period announced in July helped propelled our sales volume,” BAuto CEO Datuk Francis Lee told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

On hindsight, 2017 was not a great year for the BAuto as it pared down outgoing models.

Meanwhile, Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Proton Holdings Bhd and UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd saw a decline in volume and market share last year, but still held the second, third and fourth rank in terms of market share respectively as in 2017.

Nissan, which is placed in fifth position, enlarged its sales volume last year by 10.3% to 21,956 cars at a total 3.9% market share.

Other carmakers registered negligible changes in terms of sales volume, which hardly rocked the market’s dynamic.

“It is within expectations as Honda, Proton and Toyota did not launch any new models like Perodua and Mazda,” TA Securities Holdings Bhd analyst Abel Goon told TMR.

Honda, the No 1 non-national car brand in Malaysia, captured a 19.2% market share, ahead of Proton’s 12.1% and Toyota’s 8.1%.

JF Apex Securities Bhd analyst Nursuhaiza Hashim said Perodua and Mazda may have an advantage in terms of car design and pricing.

“I think they offer designs which are market complementary with more sophisticated models at affordable prices. Mazda’s pricing does not differ much from Honda and Toyota cars in the same segment,” Nursuhaiza told TMR.

In the premium segment, Volvo Car Malaysia Sdn Bhd and BMW Malaysia Sdn Bhd recorded double-digit growth in volume and outpaced Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Volvo’s sales gained 34.8% to 1,384 cars, while BMW soared 13.1% to 12,008 new owners in Malaysia.

Mercedes-Benz sold over 13,000 cars in 2018, a 9% increase to a record year consecutively since 2014.

Overall, total industry volume for the passenger vehicle closed at 533,202 units in 2018, climbed 3.6% as a result of the tax-free period along with new launches.

This year, MAA forecasts a flat growth of 0.15% to 534,000 cars on the back of challenging economic and environmental factors.

Carmakers are expected to step up their game as competition heightened in a static consumers’ demand.

The two national automakers Perodua and Proton entered the SUV market to seize new breed of consumers to the brands, while breaking into the current players’ market.

BAuto is expected to launch at least two new SUVs — the Mazda CX-8 and CX-3 — this year.

UMW Toyota has recently launched its new Vios, the first model to roll out from the company’s new RM2 billion manufacturing plant in Klang, Selangor, with the Yaris expected to follow suit in the near future.