Orders exceed expectations

New owner: Nurfiras Norzaidi (right), 26, in his new Perodua Ativa waving to the salesman Hairi Hafiz, 35, upon leaving the showroom in Petaling Jaya yesterday. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

PETALING JAYA: As the March 31 deadline looms for carmakers to deliver units ordered by customers to enjoy sales tax exemption under Penjana last year, analysts estimate that the total current backlog of orders across the top key brands is above 300,000 units.

Perodua’s suppliers and dealers have been in overdrive mode as the year-to-date production is up by 32.95% to 51,134 units from 38,460 units.

Perodua president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Ahmad said its sales had increased by 33% to 46,385 vehicles from 34,865 vehicles for the first two months of the year.

“The increase is attributed to improved efficiency in terms of production, better financing facilities for dealers, and greater communications within the ecosystem and with customers.

“While there are still challenges with the supply of semiconductors and cost increases, we have managed to see double-digit growth in production and sales, and we thank our partners for their dedication,” he told The Star yesterday.

He said demand for Perodua vehicles has also remained healthy, and the company is ramping up production to meet demand.

As a result, the average waiting period as of Feb 28 is now between two and half to eight months but this timeframe is subject to model, variant, and colour, Zainal said.

Zainal said Perodua would continue to improve its operations as well as the delivery time.

Moving forward, Zainal said the outlook for the automotive industry and Perodua is positive given the current economic situation.

“The focus is on labour stability for automotive suppliers to ensure production can be improved.

“We also hope policymakers continue to engage with the ecosystem on future changes in policies that may impact the industry,” he said.

Meanwhile, Proton chief executive officer Roslan Abdullah said the company’s production this year jumped by 67%, or 11,700 units, compared to last year as parts supply shortages had been sorted out.

“In market demand, bookings still projected an increase in the trend for year-to-date 2023.

“The top contribution comes from the Saga model with 54% incremental booking numbers compared to the same period last year.

“In terms of production, the highest contribution is mainly from Saga at 39% and SUV models at 37%,” he said.

With the demand for SUV models continuing to sustain itself, stable production has enabled deliveries to take place with shorter waiting periods, Roslan added.

It was reported that the vehicle sector may possibly outperform the Malaysian Automotive Association’s (MAA) target for 2023 by selling more than 650,000 units with backlog orders exceeding expectations.

But analysts think it cannot replicate last year’s record-breaking sales.

In 2022, the total industry volume (TIV) was recorded at 720,000 units, breaching the 700,000-mark for the first time in history.

The SST exemption was first announced on June 5, 2020, and extended twice, first to June 30, 2021, and then Dec 31, 2021.

The Finance Ministry later announced that the SST exemption would end as scheduled on June 30, 2022.

However, the ministry extended the grace period for car buyers to register their cars until March 31, applicable only to those who booked their cars before June 30, 2022.

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car , sales tax , exemption , Penjana , order


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