March 2023 TIV came in at an all-time high of 78,849 units (+26% MoM, +8% YoY), bringing cumulative 3MCY23 TIV to 192,474 units (+20%). This is at 27% of the CY23 projection of 720k units by Kenanga research but it considers the number in line with its full-year forecast noting that March TIV was distorted by heavy deliveries ahead of the 31 Mar 2023 registration deadline to enjoy the exemption from the SST.
Looking ahead, the house expects April number will be a soft month due to fewer working days owing to the Hari Raya celebration (automakers will take the opportunity to shut down their plants for the annual routine maintenance, at least for a week). A detailed analysis of the passenger vehicle segment in March 2023 (+28% MoM, +8% YoY) is as follows: Mazda (+41% MoM, -10% YoY) delivered all of its Mazda CX-30 CBU stocks before switching to local production (CKD) which was
recently rolled out on 8th March 2023. Overall volume continued to be driven by the CX-5 and CX-8. Based on sales projection, Mazda currently has 7k backlogged orders (3−5 months). Nissan (+40% MoM, -32% YoY) managed to entice buyers as evidenced by its fast-moving inventory, but overall is still losing out in the all-new vehicles launching race.
Currently, Nissan depends on the face-lifted Nissan Serena S-Hybrid, Navara, and Almera Turbo with 1k backlogged orders (1−2 months). Perodua’s (+29% MoM, +20% YoY) sales were propelled by the all-new Perodua Alza (massive booking backlogs of 25k units) and all-new Perodua Axia (another newcomer with 27k units in new bookings), with equally strong sales of the Bezza, MyVi, Ativa models. Based on sales projections, Perodua currently has more than 200k backlogged orders (by up to 12 months for the Alza, 4 months for the Ativa/Myvi, and up to 3 months for others). Honda (+28% MoM, -25% YoY) was driven by the City, Civic, and BR-V with exceptional response seen for the all-new HR-V which was launched on 14 July 2022. Overall, it is still affected by inventory shortages, especially for the newer models. Based on sales projections, Honda currently has 15k backlogged orders (2−4 months). Proton’s (+4% MoM, +18% YoY) sales were mainly driven by the all-new X70 and X50 (4,678 SUV units sold, making up 32% of sales), and supported by the face-lifted Persona, Iriz, Exora, and Saga (collectively known as PIES). Based on sales projections, Proton currently has 45k backlogged orders (up to 12 months for the X50 and by 3 months for other models). Toyota’s (0% MoM, +11% YoY) sales were mostly from its exceptional top models, namely the all-new Vios, Yaris, Corolla Cross, and Hilux. Based on sales projections, Toyota
currently has 18k backlogged orders (3−6 months).
Kenanga said it will maintain its 2023 TIV projection of 720k units which will match the record level achieved in 2022. The optimism is underpinned by: (i) strong consumer confidence supported by a stable economy and a healthy job market, (ii) the affordability of motor vehicles underpinned by the recent pause in OPR hikes by BNM, stable new car prices thanks to the deferment of new excise duty regulations (that could have resulted in prices of locally assembled vehicles increasing by 8%-20%) and potentially cheaper hire purchase cost with the introduction of reducing balance method in the calculation of interest charges, and (iii) attractive new models.
The projection is about 11% higher than the 650k units projected by Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA). The industry’s total booking backlogs have held up at a fairly strong level of 300k units compared to bookings of 350k units three
months ago despite heavy deliveries. This indicates sustained strong buying interest, lured by attractive new model launches by players. The house said it foresees a similar pattern throughout the rest of the year