Automotive

Published on December 19th, 2019 | by Subhash Nair

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Here’s How Under-Represented FCA-PSA is in Malaysia

We just learned that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and PSA Peugeot Citro├źn (PSA) would be joining forces to create the 4th largest auto conglomerate in terms of volume. While that sounds like a massive deal, let’s take a step back and see how that affects Malaysia.

First, let’s take a look at the brands that FCA controls:

FCA

  • Abarth
  • Alfa Romeo
  • Chrysler
  • Dodge
  • Fiat
  • Lancia
  • Maserati
  • Jeep
  • Ram

Of these brands, only Maserati is represented here by Naza Italia. They’ve been active enough with the brand, but given the recent divorce of Ferrari from FCA, separation between Ferrari and Maserati branding might mean further expenditure on showrooms and new C.I. by Naza Italia, who have in the past sold both brands under the same umbrella and in the same showroom.

Chrysler, Dodge, and Ram have never had any solid footing in Malaysia, as far as I can remember. Jeep has attempted to push itself into the country at least twice. The more recent of the ventures under DRB-Hicom did not pick up much steam, but we’ve heard rumours that a new player will enter the arena with this brand…

Alfa Romeo is the most interesting brand to look at here. We know they’ve got relatively new models out like the Giulia and Stelvio (as well as high end performance variants of those two). Yet demand in this segment is hard to quantify, as marketing and discounts can easily change the game for any of the premium marques. We’ve covered Audi’s struggle to make headway in the country before, and Alfa Romeo might have similar trouble if it tries to hit high volumes against the entrenched mechanisms that BMW and Mercedes-Benz have set up here to ensure dominance.

BHP

I wouldn’t bet on Lancia even having RHD products, so let’s leave them out of the equation. Fiat… well, perhaps the 500X could make a case for itself, but given the car’s reputation and the lack of awareness of the Fiat 500 in Malaysia, the model could also be dead on arrival. Plus in Malaysia MINI have a much bigger presence and a portfolio that’s large enough to fend off any quirky looking competitor, even if the price margin is large. In any case, we’ve not heard of anyone interested in taking either Lancia or Fiat under their wings in Malaysia.

Now let’s look at Group PSA.

PSA

  • Peugeot
  • Citro├źn
  • DS
  • Opel
  • Vauxhall

While that’s a much smaller roster than FCA’s PSA is definitely better represented in Malaysia. They’re working closely with Naza’s factory to export cars to other countries in the region as well. Peugeot, Citro├źn and DS are all getting decent support and sales from Naza (as much as can be expected in the current automotive climate).

As for Opel and Vauxhall… well, they haven’t really made a push into the South East Asian region. The two brands usually work in tandem. And not too long ago, they were part of General Motors. Only a few years ago did Group PSA buy them over. In the recent past, the UK, Australia and parts of Europe are usually where they focus their efforts, but their products are decent and Opel’s past success in Malaysia could mean the brand will have enough recognition to make a small comeback here. We have a feeling Group PSA will concentrate on making their Peugeot and DS brands work here rather than pushing these additional brands in before they’ve created the necessary shared platforms and synergy for this to be a success.

Honestly, the same can be said of the FCA brands. We’ll need to give them time to work together and share platforms and supply lines before they can really push into this market, and before PSA can push in the North American market, which is what they’ve been after.


About the Author

Written work on dsf.my. @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.



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