PETALING JAYA: National carmakers Proton and Perodua have accelerated to pole position in the local car market as more customers opt for affordably priced, mass market-catered vehicles.
They look set to continue their domineering sales streak, beating foreign car sales for the rest of 2019.
It’s a comeback driven by ongoing strong demand and deliveries of Perodua’s third generation Myvi (2017) and the popular Proton X70 sport utility vehicle (SUV), according to AmInvestment Bank Research in a recent report.
“Since 2014, the non-national marques have marginally surpassed national marques in terms of market share on a full-year basis.
“However, as of April 2019, we witnessed a radical change in the sector for the first time since 2014, where the national marques’ market share climbed above that of the non-national marques (56% versus 44%),” says the report.
Proton’s charge forward in sales growth this year was led by models with intelligent features, with its first SUV Proton X70 being the largest contributor.
Proton and Perodua used to command the lion’s share of the market for years.
However, this dominance came to an end in 2014 with the liberalisation of the local automotive sector as non-national car companies started introducing vehicles with attractive features and specs.
But local carmakers have now regained their top spots.
According to Kenanga Research, Proton and Perodua’s market share stood at 13% and 43% respectively at the end of April 2019 for a combined share of 56% of the total automotive market.
Comparatively, Proton and Perodua’s market share stood at 9% and 41% (or a total of 50%) in the first four months of 2018.
Perodua recorded sales of 82,800 units in the first four months of 2019. This marked a year-on-year growth of 9.7%, which the research house believes puts the national car company in a strong position to achieve its sales target of 231,000 units this year.
“Meanwhile, the X70 has received a total booking of 30,000 units with 14,000 units delivered after its introduction in mid-December 2018,” says AmInvestment Bank.
Last week, Proton announced that it posted its highest sales figure in 46 months, with 10,611 units sold in May.
This represented a 51.3% increase over April, pushing overall sales growth for the first five months of the year to over 70% compared to the same period in 2018, the company said in a statement.
Proton’s market share for the month is estimated at 17.2%, marking another high point for the company since January 2016.
AmInvestment Bank is optimistic that the national marques’ sales volume will continue to be strong and steady going forward, underpinned by new launches such as the recent facelifts of the Iriz, Exora and Persona, as well as the upcoming launches of the Saga and X50.
“These models are very affordably priced and are catered for the mass market (volume-oriented), targeted towards consumers in the low-medium income group.
“We think general consumers are having a change of preferences and are looking more towards national cars as they offer similar alternatives at more competitive price-tags,” it said.