By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
HONDA Malaysia Sdn Bhd has set a conservative sales target of 95,000 units this year, down 7% from the 102,282 units it sold in 2018.
Group VP Jahabarnisa Haja Mohideen said this is because advanced purchases during the tax holiday period last year and heightened competition would lead to a lower volume for the top-selling foreign brand in Malaysia.
“Advanced purchases during the tax holiday period would impact on the total industry volume, and that sales would be a bit more tougher this year due to competition,” she told reporters in Kuala Lumpur recently.
Jahabarnisa said the 95,000 sales target is made based on anticipated total industry volume at 580,000, translating into a 16% market share.
Honda and other foreign-based automakers are facing greater competition this year as local carmakers Proton Holdings Bhd and Perusahaan Otomotif Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) have entered the SUV market with flagship models.
Proton launched the X70 on Dec 12, 2018, while Perodua introduced the Aruz about a month later.
Both models have received encouraging numbers of bookings, breaking the current players’ status quo including Honda, which is popular for SUV models such as the CR-V and HR-V.
Honda Malaysia sold 102,282 units last year with a market share of 17.1%, down 6.6% from 2017.
Nevertheless, Honda Malaysia continued to lead in non-national segment for fourth consecutive year.
Honda City recorded the highest contribution to the overall sales volume at 32%, while the Civic and CR-V recorded 16% and 13% respectively.
Meanwhile, Honda MD and CEO Toichi Ishiyama (picture) said the Japanese carmaker will focus on customer satisfaction, strengthen dealership network and introduce new models this year to maintain its leading position.
The company launched its new HR-V 1.8L RS and the first hybrid model for the compact SUV, the new HR-V 1.5L Sport Hybrid i-DCD, in January.
In February, the limited edition Jazz Mugen and BR-V special edition were introduced with only 300 units available for each model.
Honda Malaysia has 120 dealerships nationwide including 22 body and paint centres.