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Automotive sector set for bumper year, record-breaking sales
Published on: Sunday, December 04, 2022
By: Bernama, FMT
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Car makers are expected to roll out new or upgraded models and offer year-end discounts to further boost sales in 2022. - (FMT)
Kuala Lumpur: It’s been a bumper year for car sales.

Malaysia’s total industry volume (TIV) is poised to settle at a record high this year, driven by strong initial bookings figures and sustained demand.

Car sales and accumulated bookings recorded by several marques in the first half (H1) of 2022 far exceeded their earlier projections, thanks to the low-interest-rate environment and the sales and service tax (SST) exemption, which ended on June 30.

Perodua made big strides, selling 127,343 units in H1 2022, recording a 30% surge compared with the same period last year.

The carmaker also received total bookings of over 200,000 units during the period following the SST exemption.

It reported an unprecedented highest single-day booking, with 25,100 vehicle orders received on June 30, 2022.

Not to be left out, Proton also made a splash. It recorded total sales of 60,124 units in H1 2022, an increase of 3.9% over the same period last year.

The national carmaker received a 300% jump in bookings in the last week before the SST exemption ended on June 30, 2022, compared with normal weeks.

Firm second-half performance

The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) on July 21 raised its 2022’s TIV forecast by 5.0% to 630,000 cars, from the estimated 600,000 previously, following the pent-up demand for new cars in H1.

The upward revision of the MAA’s 2022 Malaysian automotive TIV forecast was reportedly mainly due to the continued recovery of the Malaysian economy post-pandemic, and the finance ministry’s decision to extend the car registration deadline to March 31, 2023, to enable car buyers, who had booked their vehicles by June 30, 2022, to enjoy the sales tax exemption.

Data from MAA showed that TIV for the first 10 months of 2022 (January-October) grew 50% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 577,902 units.

The January-October 2022 TIV performance was driven by higher sales in the non-national segment (+60.5% y-o-y) led by Japanese marques, while both Perodua and Proton delivered 44.1% y-o-y TIV growth.

All-time high for Perodua

Perodua registered a total of 222,203 vehicles year-to-date (YTD) as of end-October, up 51.2% from 146,951 units sold in the same period last year.

As of end-November, the company sold 250,795 units, surpassing its full-year target of 247,800 units announced earlier this year. This was the highest-ever sales achievement for Perodua.

It expects the registration to continue its upbeat momentum until the end of the year, driven by its top three models – Bezza, Myvi and Axia – as well as its all-new Alza B-segment multi-purpose vehicle.

Proton has also gone into overdrive this year. The national carmaker delivered 115,366 units this year as of end-October, surpassing the 114,708 units achieved for the whole of 2021. It is also an increase of 33.6% compared with sales for the first 10 months of 2021.

Saga is the company’s best-seller with YTD sales (including exports) hitting 45,865 units up to end-October 2022, followed by the X50 (33,193 units) and the X70 (15,536 units) so far this year.

Proton had earlier set a target to register a total of 150,000 vehicles in 2022.

Toyota leads non-national marques

Meanwhile, Toyota retained its leading position in the non-national brand with a 13.7% market share in the January-October 2022 period and is currently ahead of its sales target of 80,000 units for this year.

Other marques such as Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Mazda, and BMW also reported encouraging sales improvement y-o-y due to the low base effect and reportedly will have no problem hitting their respective sales targets this year.

Macroeconomic headwinds may dampen booking sentiments in the remaining months, following the ringgit’s depreciation, rising interest rates, ongoing chip and component shortages, and inflationary pressures.

Car marques, however, may roll out new or upgraded models and offer year-end discounts to woo consumers, while the original equipment manufacturers accelerate production, imports and deliveries to meet the high order backlogs.

Auto analysts remained upbeat on sustained delivery momentum even with only one month left. Some predicted that the TIV for 2022 will end up at a record high, far better than MAA’s TIV forecast of 630,000 units.

Kenanga Research projected a record-breaking TIV for 2022 at 680,000 units, an increase from its earlier forecast of 650,000 units, while Hong Leong Investment Bank Research raised its 2022 TIV target to 700,000 units from 600,000 units.

In perspective, Malaysia’s automotive TIV totalled 508,911 units in 2021. It had previously declined by 12.4% to 529,434 units in 2020 from the pre-pandemic level of 604,281 units in 2019.

Moving forward, electric vehicle (EV) is expected to be the theme and catalyst for the industry next year and beyond as more funds and tax incentives are geared toward this segment and green technology, to meet the net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 target and the sustainability agenda that are expected to be introduced or extended.