Published on November 30th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Which Company Will Launch The Kia Seltos In Malaysia
Will it be Naza Kia or will it be B Auto?
Rumors of the Kia business moving from Naza Kia to ‘B Auto’ have been circulating on social media for a few months and the recent closure of the RED CUBE outlets further confirmed the move. B Auto currently handles the Mazda business in Malaysia under Bermaz Motor.
A couple of contenders were in the ring looking at taking over the Kia business in Malaysia and it seems that ‘B Auto’ has been named the victor. On September 11th this year Naza Kia announced they were opening bookings for the Kia Seltos compact SUV and there was some social media excitement as the Proton X50 and the Hyundai Kona had not yet been launched. However, the excitement reduced quickly as the press release revealed the version confirmed for the Malaysian market was the 1.6-litre MPI naturally-aspirated engine with a 6-speed automatic and not the popular turbocharged version of the Kia Seltos which is offered in India.
To date, the Kia Seltos has not yet been officially launched and the latest version of the Kia Carnival was just launched in Thailand a few days ago. The current generation Kia Carnival which was launched in 2017 has been a good seller for Naza Kia to date and its selling price of RM153,888 has made it very popular with families looking for an alterative to buying a used reconditioned Toyota Alphard and Vellfire.
The sales numbers of both Kia and Peugeot in Malaysia have been falling in recent times. In the first six months of this year, Peugeot sold 465 units while Kia sold 414, placing them at 17th and 19th places respectively in terms of sales volume. With 2020 plagued by Covid-19, things seem unlikely to pick up.
In 2019 only 3,432 Kia vehicles were sold in Malaysia while Naza Motor Group who also manages the Peugeot brand only managed to sell 1,897 units. Now, if you look back at the sales of both brands in 2015, the group sold 4,674 Kia cars and managed to sell 2,986 Peugeot cars. Since 2015 sales of both brands have been seeing a downward trend despite having new exciting award winning vehicles in both showrooms at very inviting selling prices.
Naza Kia Malaysia Sdn Bhd which is the distributor of Kia vehicles in Malaysia had posted an after-tax profit of RM80,000 from RM527.66 million in revenue for the year ended December 2018. Meanwhile, Nasim Sdn Bhd, which distributes Peugeot vehicles in the country reported a much better after-tax profit of RM1.34 million on revenue of RM378 million.
Yes, the automotive segment is having a tough time with narrow margins and our unfair tax system that favors certain brands, however there are still buyers in the market and the demand will increase in the months to come. So, we wait and see ‘which’ company will launch these new Kia models to get Malaysians excited again in the brand.