ASEAN: Vehicle sales recover, shifting from eco-car policies to EV incentives
Thailand to introduce EV incentives, Malaysia leading with EEV policy
| There is strong evidence to suggest that new vehicle sales in the ASEAN market will fluctuate greatly due to the economic upturn, changes in economic policy, and promotion measures. In 2016, roughly 3 million vehicles were sold in ASEAN’s main five countries. In 2017, thanks to the economic upturn, the Thai market saw a major recovery, with Indonesia and Malaysia also seeing steady growth. The Philippines continues to experience brisk demand prior to the commodity tax increase scheduled to be implemented in 2018. Although vehicle import tariffs in Vietnam will be lifted in 2018, sales are sluggish due to consumer hesitation to purchase new vehicles, but this situation is expected to improve in 2018.
The major four countries in the ASEAN region manufacture approximately 3.8 million vehicles. Thailand (2 million vehicles) and Indonesia (1.1 million vehicles) have implemented incentives to locally manufacture and export fuel efficient compact vehicles, leading Japanese OEMs to release global compact cars and vehicles exclusive for these emerging country markets. Malaysia (600,000 vehicles) announced its National Automotive Policy 2014, which aims to have the country achieve an annual production of over 1 million vehicles in 2020, and is currently promoting the implementation of EEVs, such as EVs and HVs, prior to the implementation of similar measures by its neighboring countries. In 2015, The Philippines announced its automobile industry support policy, the CARS Program, which aims to produce over 600,000 vehicles annually six years from now.
Source: MarkLines yearly vehicle sales data
Australia sold 1.18 million new vehicles in 2016, marking an all-time high. However, the country has terminated domestic vehicle production in October 2017. Various models from Ford, GM, and Toyota that were manufactured locally are now being imported. Most of the vehicles exported from Thailand are to Oceania, and it is anticipating that exports from Thailand to Australia will increase in the future.
Due to the effects of the recent global shift towards EVs, various governments in the ASEAN region have announced EV implementation policies, and are beginning to release EVs, and to establish EV infrastructure. Following the release of EEV compatible vehicles from Malaysia’s domestic OEMs Perodua and Proton, BMW and Volvo Cars have also begun local assembly of EEV compatible vehicles, advancing the introduction of EVs. In March 2017, Thailand announced its EV investment incentive, and approved Toyota’s HV manufacturing investment proposal in August. Indonesia is also commencing preparations for establishing laws and regulations relating to the implementation of EVs.
Indonesia: Market size recovers to a level of 1.1 million vehicles, local production advances (September 2017)
Thai production expected to increase 2.6% to 2 million units in 2017 (January 2017)