KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Jan. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Frost & Sullivan remains optimistic on the Malaysian automotive sector despite predicting a 2.9 per cent year-on-year decline in 2013 vehicle sales to 600,000 units.
Mr. Kavan Mukhtyar, Partner & Head of the Automotive & Transportation Practice, Asia Pacific at Frost & Sullivan said that the projected marginal decline in total industry volume (TIV) in 2013 was due to the overall uncertainty with regards to the general elections and the likely announcement of the revised National Automotive Policy (NAP).
"The overall uncertainty surrounding the general elections and the NAP are likely to restrain fresh demand as well as the significant replacement market," he added.
He also said that the trimming of subsidies to contain budgetary deficit will lead to a possible increase in fuel prices which will likely lead to an increase in vehicle ownership cost.
Mr. Mukhtyar added that automakers are likely to adopt a cautious approach in launching new models until the revised NAP is announced.
New vehicle models expected to be launched in 2013 include Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, Kia Rio, Kia Picanto, Kia Fort K3, Land Rover Range Rover, Honda Brio, Honda Accord and Toyota Corolla Altis.
"The continued tightening of hire purchase rules and stricter loan approvals is also likely to have a negative impact on entry level vehicles," Mr. Mukhtyar said.
Mr. Mukhtyar said that sales of passenger vehicles will likely fall 4.7 per cent year-on-year in 2013 to 518,000 units as some consumers hold back purchase of big-ticket items due to the uncertainties.
He added that commercial vehicles segment is expected to stay on the growth path in 2013, driven by strong performance in the construction, oil and gas industry. The commercial vehicles segment is expected to grow 9.9 per cent year-on-year to 82,000 units in 2013.
He added that sales for the A-segment (sub-compact cars) will continue to shrink, at 15 per cent year-on-year to 50,000 units in 2013, due to limited models offered and stricter credit control.
"The A-segment will continue to shrink as new entry level customers jump to B-segment offerings, which is a worldwide phenomenon," Mr. Mukhtyar said.
"Volume segments such as B, C and MPV will see a drop in sales, despite greater hybrid vehicle sales and launch of new models," he said.
"With the duty exemption for hybrid vehicles extended until the end of 2013, new models in the pipeline and growing customer acceptance, hybrid vehicle sales are expected to nearly double as compared to 2012," he said.
Frost & Sullivan predicts hybrid vehicles sales to reach 35,000 units in 2013, from an expected 18,000 units in 2012.
Mr. Mukhtyar expects the Government to further introduce incentives on income tax as an initiative to promote green technology as Malaysia positions itself to be an energy efficient vehicles (EEV) hub.
"However, there are no special tax breaks for pure electric vehicles, therefore its prices would still remain fairly high," he said, adding that the key selling points of the hybrids are the environment friendly image, fuel efficiency and competitive price.
Mr. Mukhtyar said that the challenges to adoption of electric vehicles are primarily consumer concerns regarding maintenance, resale value, cost of ownership, safety and recharging infrastructure.
The B-segment (small and compact cars) is likely to see a decline of 4 per cent year-on-year to 100,000 units in 2013 while the C-segment (mid-sized sedans) will see a fall of 2 per cent year-on-year to 225,000 units.
The D-segment (premium and large sedans) is likely to remain flat to reach 22,000 units in 2013 while growth in the SUV segment will continue to rise, expected at 2 per cent year-on-year to 19,000 units in 2013 due to a variety of models, new launches, attractive design and features offered by various automakers.
Mr. Mukhtyar said that the MPV segment, after seeing growth for a few years, is expected to decline by 9 per cent year-on-year to 90,000 units, as customers experience model fatigue.
"There is also likely to be an expanded scope and incentives for green cars in the revised NAP to include low emission conventional combustion engine cars and other alternate fuel vehicles and also incentives to promote local assembly of Energy Efficient Vehicles vis-a-vis import of completely built-ups (CBUs)," he added.
2012 Vehicle Sales Review
Frost & Sullivan expects vehicle sales in 2012 to end at 618,000 units, growing 3.0 per cent year-on-year due to pent up demand, normalization in the automotive parts supply chain and launch of several new models such as the Preve, Civic and Camry.
"2012 saw the automotive industry bouncing back despite a weak start to the year due to tightening of lending guidelines, supply chain disruptions from the flood in Thailand and uncertainty revolving the budget and NAP in the later part of the year," said Mr. Mukhtyar.
He added that passenger cars are likely to end marginally higher at 543,400 units in 2012, growing at 1.5 per cent year-on-year.
"Though the C-segment continues to be the largest, growth has mainly come from B-segment and MPVs. A-segment shrunk further in 2012," he added.
Mr. Mukhtyar said that growth of B-segment, at 6.4 per cent year-on-year in 2012, were driven by customer migration from the A-segment due to limited model offerings.
He added that hybrid cars and new model launches contributed to growth in the C-segment in 2012, which is likely to grow 1.6 per cent year-on-year in 2012.
Meanwhile, the launch of the new 7th generation Toyota Camry drove growth in the D-segment, at 1.7 per cent year-on-year.
Mr. Mukhtyar said that the MPV segment likely grew 4.2 per cent year-on-year due to new model launches such as the Nissan Grand Livina X-Gear, Proton Exora Bold and Prime.
He added that Japanese OEMs continue to make inroads into the Malaysian automotive market in 2012.
"Proton saw a 3 per cent loss in market share despite launch of the Preve. However, Perodua bounced back with the 2nd generation MyVi. Overall Proton and Perodua together commanded 60 per cent of the market," said Mr. Mukhtyar.
He added that Perodua continues to lead the passenger vehicle market and strengthened its market position with a 34.1 per cent market share while Proton had a 26.3 per cent market share.
Toyota and Honda increased its market share to 13.3 per cent and 6.3 per cent in 2012 respectively due to normalization in the parts supply chain and new key model launches specially in the hybrid vehicle segment.
In the commercial vehicles segment, Toyota Hilux continues its reign as the best selling model by a large margin within the pickup segment, affecting overall sales and market share of Isuzu and Mitsubishi, said Mr. Mukhtyar.
Toyota is likely to see its market share in the commercial vehicles segment grow 5 per centage points to 41.1 per cent in 2012, while Isuzu and Mitsubishi see their market share shrink to 13.7 per cent and 10.7 per cent respectively.
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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan