Published on January 16th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Jeep returns to Malaysia this weekend
Yes, you are reading this right. The Jeep brand returns to Malaysia after the last brand guardian, DRB-HICOM retired the business in July 2017. At the time, Jeep Malaysia had a full lineup of Jeep models with prices that were side by side with premium German brands. DRB-HICOM started the Jeep business in November 2014 and initially the sales were promising as many Malaysians who studied in America in the 1980s and 1990’s bought and drove used Jeeps in America which were rather cheap vehicles to own. Coming back to Malaysia, working and climbing the corporate ladder, the same Malaysians were financially able to buy a brand new Jeep despite the high selling prices due to the high exchange rate and local taxes.
The then high US Dollar exchange rate and our Malaysian import tax starting from 105% and another 30% of excise tax brought the selling prices of Jeep in Malaysia to a high RM288,889 for the Wrangler and the Cherokee SRT for RM698,889. The best selling Wrangler did well and within a year, used car reconditioned importers started bringing used Jeeps from Japan (where it is very popular) and also England. (both right hand drive countries).
So, now some two and a half years later, the Jeep brand is being resurrected in Malaysia under a new brand guardian. The new team is an established Approved Permit (AP) holder who has been in the used reconditioned luxury car business for some years in Malaysia and they have recently also ventured into the new car business by taking over the Volkswagen Sungei Besi 3S Center from WEARNES.
The new Jeep showroom will be located in the same building where the previous Porsche Glenmarie showroom was for many years. (Porsche has moved to a new building in Ara Damansara).
The first batch of Jeep’s are already in Malaysia and we have been informed that their asking prices are quite surprising (starting from below RM199k) and this could spur the brand awareness in Malaysia. This new range of Jeeps are entering the growing Malaysian SUV segment. The popularity of SUVs continues to grow in nearly every Malaysian segment possible. As our economy cools, the auto sector is showing a slowdown as well and the Malaysian car industry is looking for new ways to expand its business. The shift from traditional cars to SUVs began 7 years ago and is still going strong. Consumers around Malaysia are clearly sending the message that SUVs are the vehicles they want to drive as sales of traditional popular sedans slowdown.
We will share the new Jeep range and prices right after the launch this weekend and you can be sure that the first batch of Jeeps will be sold out by this weekend.