KUALA LUMPUR: Having secured the distributorship for BYD vehicles in Malaysia, Sime Darby Bhd has strengthened its lead as the company with the most comprehensive electric vehicle (EV) offerings in the country.
According to RHB Research, this bodes well for the auto distributor as recent ground checks indicate that orders for EVs remains robust despite long waiting periods.
Sime Darby said in a statement yesterday Sime Darby Motors would distribute BYD's Atto 3 and new e6 models, the former of which could be the most affordable EV on the Malaysian market.
"If the Atto 3 sells in Malaysia for about MYR137,000-147,000, then it may soon be the country’s cheapest EV, dethroning the Hyundai Kona e-lite, which currently has a starting price of MYR157,000.
"The Atto 3's pricing may go head-to-head against Great Wall Motors' Ora Good Cat EV, which is rumoured to retail between MYR130,000 and MYR180,000," said RHB.
It added that it has yet to have any indication of the selling prices of the vehicles in Malaysia.
While positive on the news, RHB said it was not surprised at the development given that Sime Darby is already BYD's dealer in Singapore.
It added that BYD's entry into Malaysia was only to be expected as it had earlier announced it would set up a facility in Thailand to produce 150,000 passenger cars per annum from 2024 for domestic consumption as well as export to Southeast Asian and European countries.
RHB is pending more clarity on the BYD volumes that Sime Darby will bring into Malaysia. However given they will likely be CBU in the foreseeable future, the volume will not likely be meaningful and will have little earnings impact on the company.
For now, RHB is maintaining its "buy" call on Sime Darby while keeping its forecasts and target price of RM2.75.