DESPITE the rise in the total number of registered vehicles in Malaysia for the year 2015, the commercial vehicle segment suffered a slight contraction in terms of sales compared to what it achieved in 2014.
Based on data obtained from the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), a total of 75,376 commercial vehicles were registered and sold in 2015. This marked a 3.5 percent drop from the 78,139 units sold in 2014.
The commercial vehicle segment includes panel vans, pickup trucks, trucks, prime movers and buses.
MAA believes that the decline in commercial vehicle sales last year is attributed to the slowdown in Malaysia’s economy as well as restriction placements on capital expenditures by manufacturers.
“A number of issues have had significant impacts on the growth of our country’s economy. The key ones are were the slowdown in the global economy particularly in China, the fall in prices of crude oil and other commodities as well as the weakening of the Ringgit versus major world currencies especially the US Dollar,” MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said during the yearly market review session last month.
Apart from the vile external economic environment, Aishah added that Malaysia was also facing several domestic issues including the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax as well as the rising cost of living, which immediately stifled business confidence as well as consumers’ sentiment.
Every sub-segment of the commercial vehicle category except pick-up trucks noted lower sales last year.
The pickup truck segment posted total sales of 55,115 units during the period, therefore gaining the largest slice of the commercial vehicle pie with a market share of 73.1 percent as at December 2015.
On the other hand, the panel van sector faced the worst decline in regard to sales, sliding 42.3 percent from the 4,555 units sold in 2014 to 2,630 units sold in 2015.
Sales of trucks, prime movers and buses too declined by 11 percent (from 17,333 units in 2014 to 15,433 units in 2015), 12.3 percent (1,686 units in 2014 to 1,479 units in 2015) and 24.9 percent (957 units in 2014 to 719 units in 2015) respectively.
Isuzu registered the highest sales for trucks, having sold 6,364 units last year. The company maintained its position as the top truck brand in Malaysia in 2015 with the light duty Elf and medium duty Forward leading their respective segments.
Volvo Trucks led the prime mover segment, having sold a total of 336 units for the period. Toyota, on the other hand, defeated Ford and Isuzu in terms of pickup truck sales, posting total sales of 27,721 units.
Nissan sold 1,443 units of panel vans whereas Scania sold 278 buses in 2015.
On another note, the production of new commercial vehicles in 2015 contracted by 1 percent to 50,781 units against the 51,296 units recorded in 2014.
MAA expects the total sales of commercial vehicles to relapse again this year, forecasting sales of at least 74,750 units. However, the sales environment is expected to recover from 2017 onwards.
The association predicts commercial vehicle sales to stand at 76,000 units in 2017, 78,000 units in 2018, 80,000 units in 2019 and 82,000 units in 2020.