In a note, the research house maintained its neutral rating on the sector while noting that the 6M19 total industry sales volume (TIV) of 296,300 units was within expectations.
Affin Hwang's top pick for the sector is MBM Resources due to its appealing valuation, after having downgraded BERMAZ AUTO to "hold" on expectations of moderating sales.
To recap, the auto sector's TIV was 2% higher year-on-year, meeting 49% of Affin Hwang's 2019 forecasts.
Proton's market share for the six months period was 56% versus 50% in the same period in 2018.
Both Proton and Perodua ate into the market share of the Japanese marques but Proton's June car sales jumped 23% y-o-y to 7,600 units due to the Proton X70 and recently facelifted Iriz and Persona.
Perodua's June sales fell 18% y-o-y to 16,000 units, its weakest showing so far in 2019, although Affin Hwang expects popular demand for the automaker's key models to sustain sales volume moving forward.
Among the foreign brands, only BMW experienced growth as the agressive BMW/MINI product pipeline drove June sales 4% higher month-on-month to 965,000 units.
"Toyota (-23% mom; -55% yoy), Honda (-49% mom; -53% yoy), Mazda (-23% mom; -46% yoy), Nissan (-27% mom; -60% yoy) and Mercedes-Benz (-31% mom; -62% yoy)," reported Affin Hwang.
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