PETALING JAYA: Given the stellar sales performance
by some local car companies recently, 2010 could be a record-breaking
year for the Malaysian automotive industry, analysts and industry
OSK Research auto analyst Ahmad Maghfur Usman
believes the total industry volume (TIV) this year could exceed
the Malaysian Automotive Association’s (MAA) forecast of
550,000 units and even Malaysia’s all-time high of 552,316
units in 2005.
“MAA’s forecast of 550,000 units
can be surpassed and TIV could reach a record high this year,” he
said when contacted by StarBiz yesterday.
Earlier this week, Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd and
Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) announced that sales
had hit record highs in March.
Honda sold 4,041 units while Perodua recorded
a high of 18,500 units last month.
MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said sales for
most companies looked good in March.
“We will release the sales figures for
March this or next week. Looking at the numbers, it’s going
to be a record month,” she said when contacted.
Aishah, who said the MAA was not revising its
2010 forecast of 550,000 units, seemed cautiously optimistic that
the estimate would be surpassed.
“We don’t want to speak too soon
but we believe it can be exceeded. However, we are not adjusting
(our forecast). For now it looks positive. But the local automotive
industry is policy driven. Something could still come up and anything
On whether TIV for 2010 could exceed 2005’s all-time high,
she said: “It’s possible. This year could be the highest
In the luxury segment, a spokesman from BMW Malaysia
Sdn Bhd said response for its newly launched BMW X1 sports utility
vehicle (SUV) had been good.
“We ordered 40 vehicles and all have been
taken up by our dealerships. Our dealers tell us that response
for the vehicle has been encouraging,” he said.
The SUV is available in two variants and prices
start from RM263,800. The spokesman said a main reason the X1 was
popular was because it was competitively priced for its class.
Ahmad said the stellar sales performance in the
first quarter of the year was within expectations.
“On the backdrop of a much improved economy
and pent-up demand, it’s not surprising to see encouraging
sales in the first quarter of the year.
“We believe this trend should continue
until the first half of the year but for the second half, I’m
a bit more cautious,” he said.
He said if the Government were to decide to impose
the fuel subsidy scheme (which has since been shelved), sales of
vehicles in the country could be affected.
Frost & Sullivan partner and automotive and
transportation practice head for Asia Pacific Kavan Mukhtyar also
concurred that pent-up demand and improved economy had boosted
TIV in the first quarter.
“Finance and approval rates have been
stable and there is a ‘feel-good’ factor among consumers
so spending has gone up. The momentum started to pick in the third
quarter of last year and we feel it will start moderating towards
the end of 2010.”
Kavan said Frost & Sullivan was maintaining
its 2010 TIV forecast of 555,000 units.
“We believe TIV for this year can exceed
that of 2005, albeit by a small margin”