PETALING JAYA: TA Research expects weaker car sales next year given the signs of easing forward orders despite the positive sales momentum in 2023.
“We expect normalising demand while pricing will become more competitive as carmakers may need to offer discounts to attract budget-conscious customers,” said the research house in its latest report.
TA Research has maintained its total industry volume (TIV) forecast at 700,000 units for 2023, down 3% year-on-year (y-o-y).
The forecast is slightly lower than Malaysia Automotive Association’s (MAA) full year estimate of 725,000 units, it added.
The brokerage firm, which has a “neutral” recommendation on the sector, has a “buy” call on Sime Darby Bhd with a target price (TP) of RM2.50.
However, it has downgraded Bermaz Auto Bhd to a “hold” from a “buy” with a TP of RM2.48 due to the recent rally in its share prices.
MBM Resources Bhd, on the other hand, has been upgraded to a “buy” from a “sell” with a TP of RM4.11 given the increase in upside potential.
“Our TP for UMW Holdings Bhd is benchmarked to the general offer price of RM5 per share offered by Sime Darby. Hence, we advise shareholders to accept the offer,” said TA Research.
Meanwhile, MAA had said the monthly TIV increased 12.7% month-on-month (m-o-m) to 71,700 units in August.
The association attributed the higher TIV mainly due to the National Day promotional campaigns from some of the car companies, improved supply chain and fulfilment of bookings received for new models.
The passenger vehicle and commercial segment increased by 11.6% and 24% m-o-m to 64,600 units and 7,100 units respectively.
Year-to-date, the TIV surged 11.6% y-o-y to 501,500 units, driven by both passenger and commercial car segments, which recorded total sales of 449,200 units, up 12.6% y-o-y and 52,300 units, up 4.1% y-o-y respectively.
“Year-to-date the TIV accounted for 69% and 72% of MAA and our full-year forecast,” TA Research noted.
For national marques, Perodua and Proton registered higher sales of 18.9% and 23.2% y-o-y to 204,200 units and 102,800 units respectively.
Honda, Toyota and Mazda registered higher sales in August, with an increase of 30% to 7,800 units, 16.6% (7,100 units) and 21.5% (1,900) units m-o-m respectively.
Nissan and Volkswagen sales decreased by 7.1% and 21.9% m-o-m to 527 units and 157 units respectively.
Year-to-date, the combined sales of non national cars decreased by 1.2% y-o-y to 142,200 units.
“All major car brands registered lower passenger vehicle sales compared with last year except for Toyota which was up 11.5% and Mazda which rose 34.4% y-o-y respectively,” said the research house.