Automakers race to take advantage of Southeast Asia consumer boom
To get a taste of Southeast Asia’s burgeoning 600 millionstrong consumer base and what it means for economic growth, take a look at the car industry.
Carmakers are racing to steal a bigger slice of the market attracted by rising incomes and young workers looking to buy their first set of wheels. The Philippines and Vietnam will be the two fastest-growing production hubs from 2017 to 2021, according to BMI Research. Output will surge 300 per cent in the Philippines to 359,000 units and almost double in Vietnam to 112,000 units, it forecast in June.
Toyota and PSA Group, producer of Citroen and Peugeot, are among those swooping in to take advantage of both nations’ increasingly richer populations — many of whom are first-time buyers in countries where existing car ownership is low. They also boast economic growth rates that exceed six per cent — among the fastest in the world.
Only six per cent of households in the Philippines own a car and two per cent in Vietnam, according to Pew Research Center using 2014 data.
The ratio is 82 per cent in Malaysia and 51 per cent in Thailand.