BAuto eyes EV market with new launches

by LYDIA NATHAN / pic by TMR FILE

BERMAZ Auto Bhd (BAuto) is geared to ride on the growth of electric vehicles (EV) and plans to revive Peugeot and Kia by 2022.

Maybank Investment Bank Research (Maybank IB) noted the auto company is set to introduce a new lineup of EV’s consisting of Kia, Peugeot and Mazda models upon the launch of Malaysia’s EV policy that is expected to be announced this month.

In its recent report on BAuto, Maybank IB stated the models that will be brought in include Kia’s flagship EV6, Niro and Sportage, and Peugeot’s completely built units 3008, 508, as well as Mazda’s MX-30, if the local policy is attractive.

“BAuto remains committed to turning around these new marquees by 2022. It is optimistic of addressing legacy issues, including parts availability, customer satisfaction and after-sales service issues,” the investment bank remarked.

BAuto intends to introduce three completely knocked-down (CKD) Kia models in Malaysia, including the new Sportage (ICEV and PHEV), Carnival (MPV) and Seltos.

“It will also introduce the new face-lifted Peugeot 3008 and 5008 CKD models in July 2021 and the 2008 model in November or December 2021,” the report noted.

As for Mazda, the introduction of its new CX3 is on schedule for this month. BAuto targets another CKD model in financial year 2023 (FY23) and is confident of its operations in the Philippines turning around in FY22, on lower opex, inventory and higher sales, aided by the introduction of its BT-50 model, Maybank IB said.

The bank added BAuto has identified private charging operators to collaborate on the EV charging infrastructure while its EV models will have subscription-based plans for batteries and key cost components of EVs, to address cost and warranty issues.

Maybank IB added BAuto targets to achieve 150,000 to 180,000 units sales.

In line with that, the investment bank has placed a ‘Buy’ call on BAuto with a target price of RM2.25 as it offers visible growth, strong management acumen, attractive dividend yields and inexpensive valuations.