The local automotive industry grew 1% or 5,689 units last year, to 604,287 from 598,598 registered in 2018, according to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) data.
“Despite such a small growth, it is, nonetheless, a good achievement for the local automotive industry given the very challenging environment,” MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said in a press conference in Petaling Jaya yesterday.
Aishah said the relatively good performance in 2019 could be attributed to, among others, a stable economy and employment market, new car launches with the latest specifications and design styles, very aggressive sales campaigns by companies, and attractive offers and schemes for car buyers.
The industry recorded a TIV of 666,677 in 2015, and then it fell below the 600,000 mark to 580,085 (2016), 576,625 (2017) and 598,598 (2018).
The increase in TIV last year was contributed by the passenger vehicle (PV) segment, which increased by 3.2% or 17,080 units from 533,099 in 2018 to 550,179.
The commercial vehicle (CV) segment slid 17.4% year-on-year to 54,108 units from 65,499 in 2018, mainly due to economic slowdown and companies cutting back on capital expenditures.
Hybrid vehicles saw declining sales from 20,744 units in 2018 to 13,049 last year, while 32 electric vehicles were sold last year compared to two units in the previous year.
In the PV category, cars continued to be the biggest contributor last year with a 69.4% share, followed by four-wheel drive (4WD)/ SUVs (22.6%), MPVs (7.4%) and window vans (0.5%).
All the subsegments recorded negative except for 4WD/SUVs, which went up 64.8% from 75,598 in 2018 to 124,560 last year, largely driven by Proton Holdings Bhd’s X70.
In the CV category, all subsegments registered lower sales in 2019, except for panel vans and buses which posted an increase of 183 units to 3,501 and 16 units to 645 respectively.
The pickup subsegment recorded the biggest drop in sales by 21% or 9,322 units to 35,121.
Pickups, however, continued to be the biggest subsegment in the CV category with a share of 64.9%, followed by trucks (24.1%), panel vans (6.5%), prime movers (3.3%) and buses (1.2%).
This year, MAA has forecast the TIV to increase by 0.5% or 2,703 units to 607,000.
The PV segment is expected to grow by 0.3% or 1,821 units to 552,000, while the CV segment could expand by 1.6% or 882 additional units to 55,000.
Aishah said this year will be challenging due to the subdued global economy, persistent weak ringgit, moderation in consumers’ spending, high household debts and the continued tightening of lending guidelines, including hire-purchase loans to rein in household debts.
Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd said in a statement yesterday that the German marque continued to be the top luxury brand in Malaysia with a total of 10,020 cars sold last year, capturing 1.8% of market share.
Source: The Malaysian Reserve