Bumper sales streak continues

PETALING JAYA: Riding on bumper sales last year and fuelled by ongoing festive sales, car companies are competing to move things into higher gear.

Things are certainly looking good after the country’s total industry volume recorded an 11% year-on-year hike to reach an all-time high of 799,731 units in sales in 2023.

This outdid the sales volume of 721,177 units managed in 2022, said the Malaysia Automotive Association.

As things stand now, several firms are reporting longer waiting periods for certain popular models, with periods ranging up to six months.

National carmaker Proton Hol­dings said the popular local brand enjoyed a 9% improvement in bookings and 9.3% increase in sales last year.

It said this “positive form” has spilled over to the start of 2024, with January sales being 1.3% higher than the hectic closing month of December.

Proton deputy chief executive officer Roslan Abdullah said the positive sales trend is expected to continue, with sales during the Chinese New Year festive season picking up.

“It has been a good start to 2024 as traditionally, the opening few months of a calendar year will see a reduction in sales from De­­cember in the previous year, when carmakers usually push to sell more vehicles to close the year on a firm footing.

“We are trying to fulfil bookings placed for high demand models like the Saga and all-new S70,” he said, highlighting that the X50 and X70 models continue to dominate its respective market segments.

Roslan said the Proton Saga and Proton Persona models experienced substantial year-on-year growth towards the end of 2023, with Saga sales up by 25.6% and Persona by 48.9%.

“Looking ahead, we are confident of being able to meet our sales volume targets and achieving a sixth consecutive year of sales growth in 2024.

“This is as we continue to focus on promoting our intelligent lineup of models and work to meet the expectations of our customers at all levels of the business,” he said, adding that S70 buyers might experience a waiting period of up to three months depending on the variant and colour.

A Mazda official said the company expects sales to continue on an upward trend for the rest of 2024 after last year’s 30% increase in sales, noting that the company sold 19,124 vehicles last year.

“We expect this trend to continue over the festive period and all through the year,” said a representative from Bermaz Auto Bhd, the franchise holder of Mazda in Malaysia.

The official said the facelifted Mazda CX-5 IPM6 2024 is creating renewed interest in the popular sports utility vehicle (SUV) segment and is expected to be a hit with customers.

Honda Malaysia was also off to a great start after launching its latest sixth-genera­tion CR-V, which it touts as the Ulti­mate SUV, in mid-December.

Bookings are increasing for its four CR-V variants, with interest picking up on the CR-V 2.0L e:HEV RS priced at RM195,900 (excluding insurance), Honda’s first CR-V hybrid variant.

Honda Malaysia’s Reunite in Prosperity promo for February 2024 is offering up to RM30,000 off for the Accord.

Following a promising end to 2023, UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd is ai­ming to do better in 2024.

Its president, Datuk Ravindran K., said the marque saw a 7% increase in sales last year with 108,107 units sold.

Ravindran said the carmaker would focus on introducing more models, with an emphasis on xEV (electric vehicles and their extended variants) technology.

“With this, we will continue to solidify our commitment to supporting Malaysia’s ambitious goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” he said.
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