Malaysia: record high sales of 615,000 vehicles expected in 2012
DRB-HICOM acquires control over Proton while Mazda, Subaru and VW begin production in Malaysia
In January 2012, the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) announced that Malaysia's new vehicle sales in 2012 are likely to set a record high of 615,000 units. In addition to the recovery of production capacities from the March quake in Japan and the floods in Thailand, local economy is growing steadily, which is likely to boost demand. However, the Association plans to review the forecast in mid-July this year since it is too early to evaluate the impact of the strict loan eligibility that was introduced in January.
In terms of local production by non-Malaysian automakers, Mazda began production in January 2011 and VW in March 2012. Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru) will begin production in Malaysia in October 2012.
Among the national car manufacturers, the largest shareholder of the Proton changed from a government investment firm to a local conglomerate, DRB-HICOM. In June 2011, Perodua released the new Myvi, based on Daihatsu's new Boon.
Regarding Japanese automakers, Toyota plans to invest 1 billion ringgit in 2011-2013 to increase its production and sales capacities. Honda will introduce hybrid models more actively than before, taking advantage of the Malaysian government's tax exemption measures for HV and EV.
Among European automakers, PSA has local production plans with regard to the Peugeot 408 model for emerging markets. BMW has invested in Inokom's plant to increase production capacity. As for Chinese manufacturers, Great Wall Motors has formed an alliance with a Malaysian enterprise, Green Oranges, and started import sales of SUVs and pickup trucks.
Related report: Malaysia (September 2010)
Production in 2011 declines 6% to 534,000 vehicles with new vehicle sales declining 0.8% to 600,000 units
Due to the short supply of parts after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the floods in Thailand, automotive production in Malaysia in 2011 declined 6.0% from the previous year to 534,000 units. It fell more than 20% in the months of April-May and December in particular. Production in January-February 2012 fell 5.7% from the year earlier but production capacity is picking up slowly.
New vehicle sales in Malaysia in 2011 were 600,000 units. The market experienced a short supply of new vehicles due to the decline of the production volume. However, the demand remained high and new vehicle sales declined only 0.8% from the peak year of 2010. Sales volume in January-February 2012 declined 10.7% due to the lingering effect of the floods in Thailand and the effect of the strict loan eligibility requirements introduced in January.
The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has estimated (in January 2012) new vehicle sales in 2012 to increase 2.5% to 615,000 units based on the estimated domestic economic growth rate of 4.8% and the policy rate remaining unchanged at 3.0%. However, the MAA will review the forecast in mid-July since it is too early to judge the impact of the introduction of the strict loan eligibility requirements.
Automobile production and new vehicle sales in Malaysia
|2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2011 Jan.-Feb.||2012 Jan.-Feb.|
|New vehicle sales||487,176||548,115||536,905||605,156||600,123||95,168||84,961|
Source: Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) (Note) The figures include medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. New vehicle sales reflect the number of registered vehicles. Details of new vehicle sales by brand are posted at the end of the report.
Monthly production in Malaysia
Source: Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA)
Passenger car production in Malaysia: Local production starts in 2011 by Mazda, 2012 by VW and Subaru
Two national car manufacturers in Malaysia, Proton and Perodua, accounted for 74.7% of the passenger car production in Malaysia in 2011 at 196,000 and 198,000 units, respectively. Other OEMs are having their cars manufactured by local assemblers in Malaysia.
Production of cars carrying Japanese brands declined in 2011 due to the quake in Japan and floods in Thailand. Honda, hardest hit of all, marked a significant decline in production by 44.2% from the previous year to 23,000 vehicles.
In January 2011, Mazda began production in Malaysia at a plant owned by a local assembler, Inokom. VW that had agreed to assembly by HICOM began production in March 2012. Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru) will start production in October 2012 at Tan Chong's plant.
Malaysia: Passenger car production by main automakers and assemblers
|HICOM Automotive Manufacturers (Malaysia)||Pecan 1||Suzuki||3,565||5,599||4,939|
|Naza Automotive Manufacturing||Gurun||Kia||3,317||2,513||654|
|Oriental Assemblers||Johor Bahru||Changan||168||76||59|
|Assembly Services||Shah Alam||Toyota||37,755||43,286||38,729|
|Tan Chong Motor Assemblies||Segambut||Nissan||5,373||4,208||4,207|
|Swedish Motor Assemblies||Kelang||Volvo||282||1,014||1,740|
|Total passenger vehicles||447,002||522,568||488,261|
|Source: Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA)|
|(Notes) 1.||Production volume represents the total of the passenger vehicles produced (passenger cars, window vans, MPV, and SUV). Commercial vehicles (panel van, pick-up, and medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles) are not included.|
|2.||The assembler, HICOM Automotive Manufacturers, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DRB-HICOM that acquired the controlling share of Proton.|
Mazda: Producing Mazda3 at Inokom since January 2011
|Bermaz Motor, the local distributor of Mazda vehicles in Malaysia, has assigned Inokom, a local assembly company, to produce Mazda vehicles. The company invested 15 million ringgit to renew the equipment at Inokom's Kulim plant and started CKD (complete knock-down) production of Mazda3 (Axela in Japan) in February 2011. Mazda was selling Mazda3, imported from Japan, since June 2009 but has switched to local production as sales expansion is foreseeable. The production goal is set at 3,000 units a year.|
|In March 2011, the local distributor started importing and selling the sports type Mazda3 MPS (Mazdaspeed Axela in Japan).|
Source: Mazda Press Release 2011.3.2 (Note) 1 Malaysian ringgit = 26.9 yen (as of the end of March 2012)
VW：Mid-size sedan, Passat, being assembled by DRB-Hicom since March 2012
|SKD (semi knock-down) production of VW's mid-sized sedan, Passat, started at DRB-Hicom's Pekan plant in March 2012 according to an agreement reached between VW and DRB-Hicom in December 2010 regarding assembly production of VW vehicles. The two companies invested 1 billion ringgit in total. The locally produced vehicles will be sold in Malaysia and ASEAN markets. VW will strive to raise the local content of these vehicles to 40% according to the Malaysian government's automotive industry policy.|
|As the second stage of partnership, the two companies are planning CKD (complete knock-down) production of Jetta and Polo for the local market.|
Source: VW Press Release 2012.3.11, DRB-Hicom Press Release 2012.3.11
Fuji Heavy Industries: Small SUVs being produced by Tan Chong after October 2012
|In July 2011, Fuji Heavy Industries concluded a memorandum of understanding with Tan Chong Group regarding the consignment KD (knock-down) production of the Subaru vehicles in Malaysia. The company will also conclude a consignment contract with TC Subaru, the local distributor of Subaru vehicles that belongs to the same group, and the production will take place at Tan Chong Motor Automobiles plant. Production of small SUVs is scheduled to start in October 2012 with the annual quantity of about 5,000 units. The SUVs will be sold in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia on Subaru's sales channels.|
Source: Fuji Heavy Industries Press Release 2011.7.6
Fuji Heavy Industries: Some of Australian models to be produced in Malaysia
|Fuji Heavy Industries will produce its Australian models in Malaysia starting in 2016 at the earliest. The Australian models are currently produced in and exported from Japan. Producing some of those models, such as small SUVs, in Malaysia, is expected to suppress production costs as a whole (according to the plan announced in 2011, the company plans to increase its worldwide sales from 657,000 units in FY2010 to 900,000 by FY2015).|
Source: Nikkan Jidosha Newspaper 2012.1.20
Proton：Controlling power acquired by DRB-HICOM, a Malaysian conglomerate
Proton's vehicle sales in 2011 rose 0.9% from the previous year to 159,000 units thanks in part to the brisk sales of the new sedan, Inspira (based on Mitsubishi Lancer), that was launched in November 2010. However, the company ended the April-December 2011 period with a pre-tax loss because of the reconstruction costs appropriated for its U.K. subsidiary, Lotus.
In March 2012, DRB-HICOM, a Malaysian conglomerate, acquired 42.74% stake in Proton from a government investment firm. This, together with the shares that DRB-HICOM had acquired earlier, gives the company the controlling power over Proton. DRB-HICOM will proceed with Proton's reconstruction scheme while increasing its international competitiveness. Meanwhile, Proton is promoting alliance with overseas manufacturers such as increased cooperation with Mitsubishi Motors.
Proton: DRB-HICOM acquires 42.74% stake from a government investment firm
|DRB-HICOM, a Malaysian conglomerate, announced that its extraordinary shareholders' meeting held on March 14, 2012 approved its acquisition of 42.74% of stake in Proton Holdings. The acquisition by DRB-HICOM will be completed within seven days thereafter at the price of 1.29 billion ringgit (5.5 ringgit per share) from Khazanah Nasional Berhad, a government investment firm. Since DRB-HICOM had acquired 7.27% stake from the open market in January, it will have 50.01% stake after the completion of acquisition and control over Proton. DRB-HICOM is a conglomerate with automotive manufacturing and property development.|
|Proton is facing financial trouble from a decline in profits in FY2011 which is attributable to the reconstruction costs of its British subsidiary, Lotus. DRB-HICOM will proceed with business reconstruction scheme while striving to develop new models and increase local contents leveraging Proton and HICOM's technologies and expertise.|
Source: HICOM Press Release 2012.3.13/2012.1.16
Proton: Studying the feasibility of establishing a development company in China jointly with Hawtai Motor Group
|In October 2011, Proton and Hawtai Motor Group, a Chinese corporation, signed a memorandum of understanding to explore collaboration in product development. They are studying the feasibility of establishing a joint development company in China. Once the new company is formed, as the first phase of cooperation, Proton will license its MPV, Exora, and P3-21A (code name), a global model slated for market launch in early 2012, to Hawtai Motor Group to be manufactured at Hawtai's plant. These cars will be introduced in the Chinese market under the Hawtai brand or joint venture brand. In the second phase, both companies will develop new models together.|
Source: Proton Press Release 2011.10.21
Proton：EVs delivered to the government with plans of market launch in 2013
|In September 2011, Proton delivered 3 units of the EV version of the compact sedan Saga, Saga EV, and 5 units of the range extender version of the small MPV Exora, Exora REEV (Range Extender Electric Vehicle) to the government. Two hundred more units were delivered to the government in 2011 for testing and evaluation that will last a year. Proton is planning a market launch of its EVs in 2013. The cruising range is 130km on the Saga EV and 700km on the Exora REEV. The estimated tag price is 70,000 ringgit for the Saga EV and less than 100,000 ringgit for the Exora REEV, 30 to 40% higher than ordinary models.|
Source: Proton Press Release 2011.9.14
Proton: Considering joint production of engines and parts sharing with Mitsubishi Motors
|In September 2011, Mitsubishi Motors and Proton announced the possibility of expanding business cooperation in four areas: joint production of engines in Malaysia, production of Mitsubishi-brand vehicles at Proton plant, sharing of main parts between Mitsubishi's Global Small model being produced by Mitsubishi in Thailand since March 2012 and Proton's new compact cars, and licensing of EV/PHV/HV technologies by Mitsubishi to Proton. The new cooperation is expected to increase Mitsubishi Motors' presence in the ASEAN markets and help Proton enhance its lineup and fully utilize its production facilities.|
Source: Proton Press Release 2011.9.15
Perodua: Launching the new Myvi based on Daihatsu's new Boon
Daihatsu has a 20% stake in the national car manufacturer, Perodua (Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua) along with a 41% stake in Perodua Auto Corp. that controls Perodua's affiliated manufacturing companies. Perodua's vehicle sales in 2011 declined 4.6% from the previous year to 180,000 units and its share in the home market fell from 31.2% to 30.0%.
In June 2011, Perodua launched the new model of the people's car Myvi (based on Daihatsu's new Boon). In February 2012, the company built the first automatic transmission plant in Malaysia jointly with Daihatsu and Akashi-Kikai Industry.
Perodua: Launch of the new Myvi
|In June 2011, Daihatsu and Perodua launched the new model of the people's car Myvi based on the new Boon that was launched in Japan in February 2010. The new Myvi features interior and exterior designs that meet the consumers' preferences in the Malaysian market and the engine displacement has been changed (only the 1.3-liter engine is used; the 1.0-liter engine is no longer available). The fuel efficiency was improved (from 13.5km/liter to 14.6km/liter on AT model) and safety performance was enhanced (airbags for the front seat occupants are standard on all models). Monthly vehicle sales is targeted at 5,600 units with the price ranging from 43,900 to 57,800 ringgit.|
Source: Perodua Press Release 2011.6.16, Daihatsu Press Release 2011.6.17
Daihatsu: Building an AT plant in Malaysia jointly with Perodua and Akashi-Kikai Industry
|In February 2012, Daihatsu established a new company, Akashi-Kikai Industry (Malaysia), jointly with Perodua and Daihatsu's transmission manufacturing subsidiary, Akashi-Kikai Industry. The new company is owned 39% by Daihatsu, 51% by Akashi-Kikai, and 10% by Perodua. Construction of a new automatic transmission (AT) plant began in March 2012 in an industrial complex in Negeri Sembilan. The new plant will start operation in November 2013 with an annual capacity of 150,000 units in a two-shift operation. The new plant construction will cost approximately 5 billion yen.|
|The automatic transmissions (AT) to be manufactured at the new plant will be supplied to Perodua's vehicle assembly plant where nearly 200,000 units of small cars and other vehicles are being produced a year. Automatic transmissions are used on nearly 75% of vehicles in Malaysia and are 100% imported from Japan at present. Daihatsu foresees a steady market growth along with a higher ratio of AT use, and local production at the new plant is expected to increase cost competitiveness. The new AT plant will mark the first AT production in Malaysia for all automakers including Daihatsu.|
Source: Daihatsu Press Release 2012.2.22, Nikkan Kogyo Newspaper 2012.2.23, Nikkei Sangyo Newspaper 2012.2.23
Toyota: Investing 1 billion ringgit in 2011-2013
In April 2011, Toyota's cumulative production at its manufacturing company in Malaysia topped one million vehicles and held a ceremony to celebrate the occasion. Toyota is the first automaker, other than the national car manufacturers, with the over a million record.
Toyota plans to invest a total of 1 billion ringgit in its Malaysian operation between 2011 and 2013. The money will be spent to prepare for the CKD production of the Camry and strengthen the sales structure.
Toyota: Investing 1 billion ringgit in Malaysia in 2011-2013 to strengthen production and sales structures
|Toyota plans to invest 1 billion ringgit in Malaysia in the next three years (announced in April 2011). Toyota will appropriate 350 million ringgit of the investment to strengthen its manufacturing company in Malaysia, Assembly Services (ASSB) including preparation for CKD production of the Camry, 300 million ringgit to expand sales network, and 200 million ringgit to build a new stock yard in Bukit Raja, Selangor.|
Source: Toyota Malaysia Press Release 2011.4.25
Honda: Launching the Fit HV on account of tax-exemption measures for hybrid vehicles
Honda was forced to suspend production at its Malaysian plant for nearly five months due to the floods in Thailand. Operation was resumed on March 20, 2012 but Honda's sales target through the end of 2012 has been set to 46,000 units, 40% more than the previous year.
In October 2011, the Malaysian government introduced tax exemption measures for hybrid and electric vehicles to encourage technologies used in green vehicles. Honda is aggressively introducing hybrid vehicles in Malaysia where HV demand is on the rise, and launched the HV version of its leading model, Fit, in March 2012.
Honda: Production in Malaysia suspended due to floods in Thailand
|Honda was importing KD parts from Thailand for assembly in Malaysia but was forced to suspend operation at its plant in Malaysia from October 25, 2011, to March 19, 2012, because of lack of supply of parts due to the floods in Thailand. Operation resumed on March 20 and full-capacity operation is planned after the end of April. Honda's monthly sales in Malaysia in 2012 are targeted at 46,000 units.|
Source: Nikkan Jidosha Newspaper 2011.10.27
Honda: Third HV model, the Fit HV, launched to benefit from HV tax exemption measures in Malaysia
|In March 2012, Honda launched the hybrid version (HV) of its leading small size model in Malaysia, Jazz (Fit in Japan). This marks the first time ever the Jazz Hybrid is introduced in Southeast Asian markets. The HV, with 1,300cc displacement and a price tag of 94,800 ringgit, is produced in Japan and exported to Malaysia. The annual sales volume is set at over 3,000 units.|
|The Malaysian government has introduced exemption measures on import and excise duties for electric vehicles and for hybrid vehicles (2,000cc or less displacement). The measures will remain effective from October 2011 to December 2013. The government reportedly is studying the possibility of increasing the scale of HV market in Malaysia to 10,000 units and producing HV in Malaysia for export to the ASEAN markets by 2013.|
|Honda is already selling two types of HV. The hybrid-only model, Insight, is sold for 99,800 ringgit and 4,566 units were sold in 2011. The second HV model, CR-Z HV launched in December 2011, has a price tag of 115,014 ringgit. Other HVs currently sold in Malaysia are Toyota Prius (139,900 ringgit, 2,457 units sold in 2011) and Lexus CT200h (167,321 ringgit), both having total piston displacement of 2,000cc or less.|
Source: Honda Malaysia Press Release 2012.3.15, Nikkei Sangyo Newspaper 2012.3.19, other media reports
European automakers: Trends of PSA and BMW
PSA plans to produce the Peugeot 408, a new model developed for China and other emerging markets, in Malaysia starting in 2012.
BMW invested in Inokom's plant in 2011 to increase the company's production capacity in Malaysia by 50%.
PSA：Producing the new sedan for emerging markets, Peugeot 408, at Naza Group's plant
|Naza Group and PSA jointly plan to produce the new mid-size sedan for emerging markets, Peugeot 408 (a new model based on Peugeot 308 and not the successor to the 407), in Malaysia starting in 2012. They plan to produce 60,000 units in five years from 2012 at Naza's Gurun plant, 60% of which reportedly will be exported to the right-hand drive markets in ASEAN, Pacific and African countries.|
Source: PSA Press Release 2010.12.7, other media reports
BMW：Increasing production capacity of Inokom's Kulim plant by 50%
|In June 2011, BMW invested in Inokom's Kulim plant to increase its capacity by 50% and started producing additional models including the BMW 528i M Sport and the BMW 520d. The company hired 80 additional workers to stand ready for the increasing demand for the premiums and the diesel models. The plant produced 2,966 units and 4,682 units in 2010 and 2011, respectively.|
|BMW is fortifying its diesel vehicle business in response to the biodiesel project introduced by the Malaysian government in June 2011. It has been proven by tests that all BMW diesel vehicles sold in Malaysia will run normally on the B5 biodiesel fuel with 5% palm oil methyl ester being promoted by the Malaysian government.|
Source: BMW Press Release 2011.6.1, MAA Statistics
Chinese automakers: Great Wall Motors starts import and sales operation in Malaysia
Great Wall Motors has formed an alliance with a Malaysian enterprise, Green Oranges, and started import and sale of its SUVs and pickup trucks in Malaysia in October 2011.
Great Wall Motors: Agreement reached with Green Oranges regarding assembly and sales operations
|Great Wall Motors has reached an agreement with Green Oranges regarding assembly and sales operation in Malaysia. Import and sale of the Haval H5 (SUV) and the Wingle (pickup truck) started accordingly in October 2011. The company reportedly plans to start local production in Malaysia as the production hub covering the ASEAN markets and export the vehicles to Cambodia and Indonesia.|
Source: Daiwa Capital Markets "China Automobile Sector" 2012.3.13, Green Oranges Press Release 2011.8.7
(Reference) New vehicle sales by brand
Malaysia: New vehicle sales in Malaysia by brand
|UD Trucks (2008-)||2,331||1,810||1,703||1,531|
|Volvo Cars (-2010)||965||724||752||524||529||673|
|Volvo Cars (2011-)||801|
|Source: JATO Dynamics (2005-2009), MAA (Malaysian Automotive Association) (2010-2011)|
|(Notes) 1.||Inclusive of medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Statistics for 2004-2009 show retail sales. Statistics for 2010-2011 show the number of registered vehicles.|
|2.||UD Trucks, the former Nissan Diesel Motor, was renamed in February 2010.|
|3.||The automakers selling Thai-made vehicles in Malaysia include Mitsubishi, Mazda, Toyota, Honda, Ford and Chevrolet.|
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