Ford sees no GST impact in introducing new models

By BERNAMA | 6 March 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) next month will not impact Ford Motor Co's plan to continue introducing new models in Malaysia.

Managing director, Malaysia and Asia Pacific Emerging Markets, Dave Westerman, said the company would not speculate on the potential impact of government policies and that of the GST.

"We'll have to wait and see. Like other businesses, we regularly review pricing," said Westerman in response to a question whether Ford would adjust its car prices in Malaysia after April 1.

"The implementation (of GST) will not change our plan to continue introducing vehicles that offer value for money by delivering best-in-class combinations of quality, performance, smart technologies, safety and fuel economy," he said.

He said Ford supported policies that were simple, transparent and did not inadvertently provide competitive advantages or disadvantages among brands.

Westerman said for 2015 Ford aimed to continue growing in Malaysia by introducing more global Ford vehicles.

"The new launches will include the Mondeo passenger car, Everest Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) and Mustang sports car.

"We're also confident in continuing to see strong demand for our current models -- Ranger, EcoSport, Focus, Kuga and Fiesta," he said.

He, however, declined to share any sales target for 2015.

The global carmaker achieved its best-ever sales in Malaysia last year.

Its overall retail sales surged 31 per cent to an all-time full-year record of 13,938 units, driven by strong demand for its Ranger and Fiesta models.

It kicked off 2015 with record sales. January 2015 became its best-ever monthly performance in Malaysia as sales soared 38 per cent year-over-year to 1,544 units, fuelled by continuing demand for its versatile Ranger pick-up truck, sporty Fiesta, and EcoSport compact urban SUV.

Westerman said Ford, together with the Malaysian partner, Sime Darby Auto Connexion (SDAC), would continue to further enhance Malaysian customer and ownership experiences.

"Over the next 12-24 months, SDAC and its dealers will continue with investments in new facilities, upgrade and renovate current dealerships to meet Ford's global standards.

"We opened nine 'Quick Lane' outlets in 2014, and plan to expand the number of facilities in 2015 to provide customers with quick, convenient and high quality service.

"We also plan to continue investing in our people with ongoing skills training to ensure they are delivering our brand promise of being an excellent after-sales provider," he said.

He said while Thailand would still serve as Ford's Asean manufacturing hub, the company's business and operations would continue to benefit from all economic partnerships and trade agreements in the region, including Asean Trade in Goods Agreement and the Asean Economic Community in 2015.

"These will help to further strengthen intra-regional trade and provide opportunities for integrated growth among all markets in the region," he said.