Commercial vehicles market pins hope on projects rollout

Companies have paused buying new vehicles to renew their fleets and instead opted to use existing vehicles much longer

The commercial vehicle (CV) market in Malaysia is expected to see marginal growth this year due to ongoing economic uncertainties that could pose downside risks to the industry.

CV sales declined by 17.4% in 2019 or 11,391 units, to 54,108 from 65,499 recorded in 2018, according to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) data.

MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad recently said the slowdown in the CV segment was because many companies paused buying new vehicles to renew their fleets and instead opted to use their existing vehicles much longer.

Aishah said this occurred after several mega projects in the country were halted, thus affecting demand for new vehicles.

In the pickup segment, she said companies withheld vehicle purchases on the back of low palm oil prices last year.

Isuzu Malaysia Sdn Bhd CV division COO Atsunori Murata said the company is of the view that conditions in CV market may not change this year as uncertainties persist.

“We share the same views of Aishah. There are still a lot of uncertain factors in the CV market. Therefore, we see the market segment to be the same as last year,” Murata told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

He said the market size for trucks and prime movers is expected to be almost the same as 2019, but light CVs such as pickups may see an increase of 10% year-on-year (YoY) in 2020.

For light CVs, he said new launches of Isuzu and other brands may push the market demand on resumption of a few projects and higher palm oil prices.

Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia Sdn Bhd expects the growth in CV market to be minimal this year at around 1% to 2%.

“Mitsubishi Malaysia’s main focus would be to expand our market share within the pickup segment by strengthening our product and services offered to customers,” the company’s senior VP of strategic planning and coordination project Hoffen Teh told TMR.

Last year, all subsegments of CV registered lower sales 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% YoY or 9,322 units to 35,121.

Pickups 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%).

The market share of CVs from the total newly registered motor vehicles has been shrinking for many years as sales slid, while passenger vehicles segment delivered more volume.

CVs accounted for 11.3% of the total industry volume (TIV) in 2015 and fell to 11.4% in 2016, 10.7% in 2017, 10.9% in 2018 and 9% last year.

Carmakers bucked last year’s challenging market with 604,287 units sold, a four-year high after the TIV hovered below 600,000 since 2016, despite small yearly growth.

“Despite such a small growth, it is nonetheless a good achievement for the local automotive industry given the very challenging environment,” Aishah said at a press conference in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, last week.

The Malaysian automotive industry grew 1% YoY or 5,689 units to 604,287 units in 2019 from 598,598 registered in 2018.

In the CV segment, Toyota emerged the top brand with 16,576 units sold, followed by Isuzu (8,974), Mitsubishi (5,792), Ford (5,613) and Hino (5,520).

All the top five brands registered lower sales volume against 2018 except for Mitsubishi which delivered an additional 134 units YoY to 5,792 last year, recent MAA data stated.

Source: The Malaysian Reserve 

Posted on : 29 January 2020
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Last Updated : Tuesday 25th February 2020