KUALA LUMPUR (July 5): Frost & Sullivan is maintaining its total vehicle sales forecast of 612,000 units this year for Malaysia despite the stricter lending guidelines by Bank Negara Malaysia.
In a report Thursday, it said that the stricter lending rules mostly impacted entry-level vehicles such as Perodua Viva and Proton Saga although the impact was expected to be reduced as automakers stepped up marketing and sales campaigns such as giving higher discounts and implementing pre-screening approval process for hire purchase loans to entice consumers.
Frost & Sullivan partner & head of the automotive & transportation practice, Asia Pacific, Kavan Mukhtyar said the rejection rate for loan applications for new vehicles had reduced since May 2012 as dealers and banks were getting used to the stricter lending guidelines.
He also said that hybrid cars would continue to be in demand due to attractive incentives given by the Government as well as the possibility of review more incentives in the coming review of the National Automotive Policy.
The report said that D-segment (premium & large sedans) would be the fastest growing segment, increasing 30 per cent year-on-year to 36,058 units in 2012.
It would be driven by catch-up sales from the new Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, new variant launches and high demand for luxury cars such as BMW and Mercedes Benz.
The C-segment (mid-sized sedans) would also likely grow 5% year-on-year to 234,482 units in 2012, making it the largest contributor to the total vehicle sales in Malaysia, accounting for about 38.3%.
“New models such as Proton Preve, Peugeot 408, Honda City FL, Honda Civic FMC and Volkswagen Polo Sedan as well as the increasing demand for hybrid vehicles such as Honda Insight FL and Toyota Prius FL will also help to drive growth in the segment,” added Mukhtyar.
An 11% year-on-year growth to 25,699 units is expected for sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and 4x4 vehicles fueled by the back orders and recovery sales from Honda CRV and growth in Kia Sportage and new model such as Mazda CX-5.
“The B-segment (small & compact cars) is likely to see a nominal growth of 0.3 per cent year-on-year to 98,792 units in 2012 due to the robust sales of the new 1.5L Perodua Myvi and introduction of hybrid cars such as Toyota Prius C and Honda Jazz,” said Mukhtyar.
He added that while most of the segments would see growth, the A-segment will see a dip and is expected to decline 12 per cent year-on-year to 57,376 units, mainly impacted by the stricter lending guidelines and lack of new models.
“Most consumers are likely to opt for B-segment vehicles especially entry-level cars such as Perodua Myvi due to the narrow price gap,” he said.
Commercial vehicle segment, sales of pick-up trucks are expected to increase 6 per cent year-on-year to 46,478 units, mainly driven by robust sales from market leader Toyota Hilux and supported by new entrant models such as Chevrolet Colorado and the new Ford Ranger.
However, sales of trucks are likely to decline 5 per cent year-on-year to 15,000 units in 2012 due to a lack of new models.
“Other commercial vehicles such as buses, vans and prime movers are expected to grow 2 per cent year-on-year to 10,876 units in 2012, supported by the new panel van Nissan NV200 Vanette as well as growth from Daihatsu Gran Max and Nissan Urvan,” he said.