Southeast Asia experienced growth in terms of vehicles sales for the first half of 2018. In fact, it was a record-high run, selling a total of 1.69-million cars from January to June 2018, which was up by 4% on a year-to-date basis. This is the second-highest among previous sales numbers on the same period, just next after the sales numbers back in 2013.
In a report by Nikkei Asian Review, One of the main drivers in this sales growth in the region was Malaysia, which recorded a 28% increase in sales from May to June, or up to 64,502 units. The sales increase was due to the abolishment of the 6% Goods and Sales Tax (GST) in the country, skyrocketing the new-vehicle industry. With this, the Malaysian Automotive Association is confident that July sales will still see an increase because of the given buyer margin to new-vehicle buyers.
On the contrary, the Philippines saw a dramatic dip in vehicle sales during H1 2018 as compared to the same period last year. This is due to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law that imposed a new excise tax on vehicles. The new tariffs saw the light during the start of 2018. With that, vehicle prices went up, and car-buyers opted to buy small cars instead of bigger ones that have higher price tags.
Indonesia also saw a decline in vehicle sales in H1 2018; new car sales went down by 11%. Per the report, the dip was due to the fewer business days during the period, as the Indonesian government extended its annual public holiday that followed the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Another country to have seen a decrease in vehicle sales is Vietnam, which saw a 10% decline in the same period. This was due to the restriction on imported vehicles that were introduced earlier this year. However, vehicle importation has resumed at the of June 2018, which should boost vehicle sales in July and August.
Despite the setbacks from some countries, Southeast Asia still got a positive number for H1 2018, in which Toyota remains to be the major player. With that, Michinobu Sugata, managing officer at Toyota Motor and president of Toyota Thailand, predicted that new vehicle sales in the region could surpass 3.5 million units by the end of the year.
Source: Nikkei Asian Review