Thailand and Indonesia to drive Asean

Thailand and Indonesia to drive Asean
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Asean car market to 4.7 million units in 2019, says Frost & Sullivan

BY RANJIT SINGH The ASEAN automotive market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8% (2012-2019) to 4.71 million units in 2019, mainly driven by rapid market expansions in Indonesia and Thailand, market researchers Frost & Sullivan said today. Ten countries make up the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) with Malaysia as the biggest passenger car market now. “The ASEAN region which will become the fifth largest automotive market in the world by 2019 is also poised to become a global automotive and production hub by then,” Frost & Sullivan’s Asia–Pacific regional research Rao said the low level of motorisation in ASEAN offers strong growth potential for the automotive market, while the heavily-motorized regions of Western Europe and North America represent a saturated “replacement” market. “Indonesia is expected  to emerge as the largest automotive market in ASEAN by 2019, accounting for 2.3 million vehicles, driven by sustained economic growth in the country, growing middle classes with larger disposable incomes, increased investments in automotive sector and introduction of automotive regulations supporting market growth,” added Rao. More than 60% of Indonesia’s population were in the production group of age, between 20-60 years old, he said. “With such a high percentage of young population, the country has a huge potential in terms of production and income to support more consumption. The so-called ‘golden age’ period is predicted to be maintained until 2030,” he added. Automotive demand in Thailand was also expected to grow driven by an improved economy, more disposable incomes, capacity expansions by automakers, and launch of several new vehicle models, Rao said. He also said Thailand was likely to continue its dominance as a major production hub in ASEAN due to expected significant capacity expansions, increased export and domestic demand, availability of skilled labor force with a well-developed automotive component industry. He noted that 2012 was a record year for ASEAN as all the three key automotive markets – Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia witnessed historical highs in vehicle sales. “While Thailand and Indonesia crossed the 1 million mark in vehicle sales, Malaysia crossed a record high of 600,000 units mark. “High economic growth, increasing disposable incomes, increased investments, expanding production capacities, and launch of new models are key drivers of automotive market in ASEAN while global economic uncertainties, stricter regulations and taxes, and growth of public transport are the key factors that are likely to restrain the market during 2013-2019,” he added. Rao also said that other factors driving vehicle sales in Thailand include the fulfillment of 300,000 pending orders by OEMs from the first-time car buyer program of 2011–2012 and emergence of new breed of potential vehicle buyers such as youth and women. He said that automakers in Thailand are expected to continue launching new and face-lift models across various segments in 2013, which will drive vehicle sales growth. The new models or face-lifts include Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Vios, Nissan Pulsar, Mitsubishi Mirage Sedan, Ford Fiesta Facelift and Suzuki Ertiga MPV, amongst others. Rao said  that Japanese OEMs are expected to continue to dominate the passenger vehicles market in Thailand in 2019. He also said that the 650 to 1,500 cc segment is expected to have the highest market share in the total passenger vehicle market in 2019, indicating consumer preference for smaller cars. He also noted that European and Chinese OEMs were looking at Malaysia as an assembly and manufacturing hub to set up production plants. “The Malaysian market is expected to grow supported by foreign model proliferation at competitive price points and by price reduction as a result of market liberalization,” he said. Rao said to promote Malaysia as a regional hub for hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles, the government may have to continue to give full exemption of import duty and excise duty on hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles to franchise holders for vehicles below 2000cc. He noted that the special incentives offered has helped boost sales of hybrid vehicles, from 332 units in 2010 to 8,334 units in 2011, and increasing by 84% to 15,355 units in 2012. However, the tax exemption is scheduled to end on  December 31, 2013. The government has not given any confirmation if there would be further extension, he added. “The hybrid segment will continue to be a bright spot with the extended duty exemption, new models in the pipeline, and growing customer acceptance,”  said Rao. - August 15, 2013.

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