Published on November 24th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Automotive outlook for 2017
We have had 15 years of growth……an automotive downturn in sales is really due. If you are from the automotive industry and reading this, you will probably be a little upset with what we are saying, but this is a fact. From the recovery of the 1999 financial crisis, Malaysians have been on a buying spree. Cars, houses, gadgets, holiday trips, clothes and fine dining. Yes, times have been good, very good despite all the other issues lingering in the economic and social air every single day.
With the highest passenger car sales growth figures in ASEAN since 2001, Malaysians have had a huge appetite for cars and our neighbours with higher population figures and even higher GDP figures have not been able to match our year on year growing passenger car sales…….until 2016 when we started seeing a slow decline in sales which was boosted by most car brands offering ‘fantastic’ discounts. Yes, we say fantastic as there have never been so many special offers, overtrade values, throw-away prices and drive home specials in the last 15 years.
Very established car brands who have never given discounts before started free-falling their selling prices, offering buyers to purchase their cars with service vouchers, travel vouchers, free gadgets, free car accessories and more.
By the 3rd quarter of 2016 we had some car brands offering as much as 40% discount on slow selling ageing models and it was a stock sell down Malaysians have never seen before. Car buyers who at one time swore never to buy a particular car brand/model, ‘ran’ to the showrooms with a fist full of cash willing to take the discounted model in any colour.
By the 4th quarter of 2016 we are seeing some luxury models with 25-30% discount due to rising ‘sitting’ stock and soon to arrive replacement models from global factories.
Looking at this trend we can now say that Malaysia is NO LONGER on of the top 3 MOST EXPENSIVE car markets in the world. We are probably in the top 10 right now. Yes, it has never been a better time for the Malaysian car buyer.
Let us see how the circus turns out in 2017. Its going to be a higher, faster roller coaster ride and you better hold on tight.