PETALING JAYA: Passenger car sales, which enjoyed a strong growth in recent months, may be affected by movement control orders (MCO) in the final quarter.
“Car sales numbers might be affected by the MCOs amid the rising Covid-19 cases. The end of the loan repayment moratorium at end-September will also affect consumer sentiment, ” said Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) president Datuk Aishah Ahmad.
Aishah told StarBiz that while MAA was maintaining its total industry volume (TIV) forecast at 470,000 units for 2020, it felt cautious consumers’ sentiment would continue to impact car sales.
A Maybank Investment Bank report, meanwhile, said the automotive sector outlook continues to look positive due to new car launches, attractive discounts and sales tax incentives that might be extended into 2021.
In June, the government announced a full sales tax exemption for locally assembled cars, and halved the sales tax for imported cars to 5% (from 10%) from June 15 to Dec 31.
The research unit said market talks suggest that the sales tax incentives may be extended by another three to six months, to spur car sales.
The report also noted Perodua and Proton continue to enjoy strong month-on-month vehicle sales growth in September.
Perodua registered 25,035 units sales in September (11% jump month-on-month), its highest ever monthly sales in its 26-year history, which took its sales in the first nine months (9M20) to 145,012 units (19% drop year-on-year).
Proton reported a 5% month-on-month sales growth to 11,935 units.
On a cumulative basis, Proton has surpassed last year’s sales since August, with reported vehicle sales of 73,607 units for 9M20 (5% jump year-on-year; 9M19: 69,920 units).
The Maybank Investment Bank report also pointed that having sold 37,339 units in 9M20, Toyota has raised its 2020 sales target by 17%, from 45,000 to 53,000 units, with Vios, Yaris and Hilux models being popular models.
Meanwhile, Perodua is maintaining its 210,000 units estimate for the year.
While it will delay the launch of its much anticipated B-segment SUV crossover (D55L) to 2021, it is aggressively pushing for its Myvi 1.5L H-variant with over RM1,000 rebates to prospective buyers.
Proton launched its X-50 sport utility vehicle (SUV) this month. Bookings for the X-50 have been very impressive, surpassing over 20,000 units to-date since its soft launch on Sept 16, without a price tag.
Meanwhile, Honda has rolled out its fifth generation City model (ahead of Proton’s X-50), which is available in four variants and is competitively priced at RM74,000 to RM87,000.
The Naza Group is apparently planning to give up its Kia and Peugeot distributorships in Malaysia, and Bermaz Auto Bhd (BAuto) is touted to be the front liner in taking over the brands, with Berjaya Group and Sime Darby Group also showing interest in the deal.