According to Isentia, the merging markets in Souteast Asia are key and pivotal to the automotive industry’s continued growth because global vehicle purchases continue to spur.
Notably, the current outbreak’s restriction in public transportation has been a factor in pushing for potential buyers to become full-fledged car owners.
Carmakers continued to launch various car models despite Covid-19 like BMW Indonesia who held the virtual launch of the M2 edition by Futura 2000. The brand delivered the new car unit using container-sized boxes as precautions.
Nissan and Mazda also launched new cars amid the restricted movement in Indonesia, while Honda saw launches in Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Toyota was not one to be outdone with launches in Vietnam, Malaysia, and Philippines.
Meanwhile, the growing interest in electric cars spotted in Singapore, as the netizens actively participated in discussions comparing the offerings of electric car manufacturers such as Tesla and BYD, besides the new launches of traditional manufacturers such as BMW.
In Malaysia, Mercedes-Benz, with Hap Seng Star, launched the first Autohaus car dealership with luxury boutiques in the market to provide customers with exclusive Mercedes-Benz design series and accessories.
“The Malaysian automotive industry has gradually recovered despite challenges like stricter lending approvals from financial institutions and unfavourable foreign exchange environment. Car launches like the Proton’s X50, consumers are incentivised to take advantage of the government stimulus aid,” Ho Paik San, Isentia’s Associate Insights Director, Malaysia said.
Malaysia’s national brand stood out more compared to other key Southeast Asian countries, owing to the high traction on posts. Digital journalism coverage was largely business-centric including news items on Perodua Malaysia.
The brand recorded the highest-ever monthly sales in the brand’s 27-year history, despite the waves of nationwide lockdowns this year due to the outbreak. Additionally, the brand also garnered high attention during the period of studies, both in digital media and social conversation.
In other emerging markets, The Philippines’ MG, and Vietnam’s Vinfast gained attention in social media, making their way to the top five of the automobiles-related social conversation amongst the global automotive brands.
“After more than one year of selling commercial vehicles with 03 models, Vinfast has successfully become the leading brand in the A-segment, posing a significant threat to the foreign brands,” Nhi Tran, Isentia’s Senior Insights Manager, Vietnam commented.
“The ‘local factor’ has become a competitive advantage in the car industry. Besides, being trusted as having the best quality and durability, the local brand, Vinfast, cannot be ignored,” he added.