by AFIQ AZIZ/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI
VOLVO Malaysia Sdn Bhd, or Volvo Trucks Malaysia, enjoyed its best sales in 50 years of operation in Malaysia with a total of 479 units of prime movers and rigid trucks sold last year.
Volvo Trucks MD Mitch Peden (picture) said the sales figure represents a 6.5% increase or 29 units more compared to 450 trucks sold in 2018, mainly driven by its Volvo FM models — accounting for 70% of total sales.
A higher sales number for the Swedish auto group was achieved despite tough market conditions underlined by changes in regulations, more intense competition and stringent loan approval measures by banks.
“Our sales volume increased despite the local heavy-duty truck market having experienced a decline by an estimate of 13% last year,” Peden said in a statement on Monday.
The commercial vehicle (CV) segment sales in the Malaysian market dropped by 17.4% year-on-year (YoY) in 2019 to 54,108 units according to Malaysia Automotive Association’s (MAA) data released last month.
The CV categories include panel vans, pickups, trucks, prime movers and buses. Of the total, only buses and panel vans recorded growth of 2.5% and 5.5% YoY respectively.
The pickup sales slumped by 21% YoY or 9,322 to 35,121 units last year, while truck sales fell 14.7% YoY to 13,064 units and prime mover sales declined by 0.6% YoY to 1,777 units in 2019.
The downtrend in sales in the CV sector comes as the automotive market’s total industry volume (TIV) increased marginally by 1% YoY to 604,287 units in 2019, dominated by the passenger cars sales.
Volvo Truck’s record year saw the Swedish marque claiming the 10th spot in the CV segment, climbing two places from 27 to 25 in the total TIV ranking in 2019. There are about 30 CV brands in Malaysia.
Peden stated the Volvo brand’s sales volume has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13% since 2010 and has become the leading brand in the prime mover segment, according to MAA’s data.
“Our stellar truck sales performance in 2019 is the fruit of our labour from all the continuous commitments we have underscored in conjunction with Volvo Trucks’ 50 years’ anniversary in Malaysia.
“It is a very significant achievement for us, which is partially supported by fleet replacement exercises by several of our key customers,” Peden said.
He added that Volvo Trucks has introduced several improvements on product and service quality to enhance its aftermarket support.
Among these include the launch of Volvo Uptime Promise, a first- in-the-market feature for its gold service agreement customers.
The service, Peden said, includes providing monetary compensation to customers whose truck experiences a breakdown time that exceeds Volvo Trucks’ 12-hour committed time to put the truck back on the road.
“The introduction of Volvo Uptime Promise has helped to strengthen our aftermarket offers and value proposition in the market through the Gold Service Agreement, and this is one of the important contributors to our success last year. Truck uptime is very crucial for transport operations and we are very committed to helping our customers maintain this aspect,” Peden said.
Volvo Uptime Promise also includes effective planning and prediction of truck component wear and tear, enabling Volvo Trucks to proactively help their customers plan truck maintenance schedules.
Peden claimed Volvo Trucks’ key customers in Malaysia are repeat purchasers due to the group’s efforts in enhancing quality deliverables for its products and services, and consistent aftermarket support through all its 13 dealers in the country.