Published on: 30-Jan-2020
The top 10 best-selling car brands cornered 66.4 per cent of a shrunken market last year, down from 70.5 per cent in 2018 as com-petition increased.
The list had mostly familiar con-tenders, led by Toyota, Honda, Mer-cedes-Benz, Hyundai and BMW, with Audi replacing Subaru on the honour roll.
While the top 10 ranking ex-cludes parallel imports, their mar-ket shares took all new car registra-tions into consideration.
On the whole, the car market con-tracted by 9.9 per cent.
This was because of fewer certifi-cates of entitlement (COEs) re-leased during the year, which in
turn was caused by fewer vehicles taken off the road in the period.
Nanyang Business School Ad-junct Associate Professor Zafar Momin said that excluding parallel imports avoids double counting, as parallel imports were first regis-tered in another market before be-ing brought here.
But he said total numbers – in-cluding parallel imports, whose combined share grew to 20 per cent from 14 per cent in 2018 – is “relevant for local market share analysis”.
Prof Momin, previously an auto-motive expert with Boston Consult-ing Group, said the bestsellers’ list was consistent with their domi-nance globally.
Toyota, Honda and Mercedes-Benz “will continue to hog the top five list” in the coming years, even if brands such as Hyundai and BMW
had been “displaced in the past by challengers like Mazda and Nissan”.
Mazda’s success, he noted, has been contributed by popular mod-els, such as the Mazda 3 and CX-5, while Nissan’s has been fuelled by the Qashqai.
He also noted that brands in the bestsellers’ list “tend to play musi-cal chairs in any particular year – de-pending on the models and promo-tions available in that year”.
Looking ahead, Prof Momin said South Korea’s Kia is capable of en-tering the top five list “as it has shown a steady rise over the past five years towards the top tier”.
“To be in the top five list, a brand has to sell more than 5,000 units at a minimum based on our car market size,” Prof Momin said. “It should be the aspirational threshold if a brand aspires to be in the top five list.
“The Japanese will continue their domination of the top 10 list,” he said, noting that Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Mitsubishi ac-counted for more than half of the sales in the list.
“The Germans have a strong sec-ond place with around 28 per cent, while the (South) Koreans have done very well at 20.5 per cent.”
Among the authorised agents, Toyota’s Borneo Motors, which is part of the London-listed Inchcape group, continued to power ahead last year.
Borneo Motors clinched the cov-eted Triple Crown award from Toy-ota Motor for leading sales in pas-senger cars, taxis and commercial vehicles. It was the second consecu-tive year the agent landed the award after missing it for nine previ-ous years.
Ms Jasmmine Wong, chief execu-tive of Inchcape Greater China and Singapore, said: “To win Triple Crown for the second year is a great recognition the customer has given to Borneo Motors and the Toyota brand.”
But she said this year will be “chal-lenging”, with a smaller COE sup-ply, as well as a softer economy.
On the other end of the spectrum, Ford agent Regent Motors, which is part of Malaysian-listed Sime Darby group, registered only two passenger cars last year.
This was down from 96 in 2018, and an annual average of around 300 cars in the past decade.
Source: The Straits Times, 23 January
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