Driving the French Revolution forward
IT has been a busy and eventful year for Naza Group subsidiary Nasim Sdn Bhd. Not only has the company launched five new exciting Peugeot models – the 308 GRIFFE, 208, 208 GTi, RCZ facelift, and 408 GRIFFE, it has also increased its nationwide dealership network to 30 and launched the Peugeot Lounge at the Subang Skypark airport, the first of its kind in the world.
With an ambitious sales target of 7,000 units by the end of this year, Nasim admits that it has hit some obstacles in achieving its target due to shortages of certain models such as the 208.
That being said, Nasim adds that the success of the 208 in Malaysia has exceeded all expectations, and its worldwide popularity has contributed to the limited supply of units it can get. As of October, total registration for Nasim is 5,500 units.
Nasim remains bullish on prospects for next year, aiming for a slightly higher sales figure of 7,500 units and expects the increase of European car sales trend to continue.
However, it believes that one of its key challenges is to change the perception of Malaysians towards European makes, especially the public’s perception that European models are expensive, consume more fuel, and have no resale value as compared with the Japanese makes when in reality this is not so.
The company will also continue its strategy of expanding its service and sales network, with plans for 10 new outlets in selective areas, which have sales potential, as well as carry out branding and promotional activities to increase the brand’s presence in the market.
For now, the only new Peugeot model in the pipeline for a Malaysian launch is the new 2008 Urban SUV. Based on the 208, the 2008 was recently previewed at the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show and received favourable responses from the public.
Even so, Nasim believes that the largest sales contributor next year will be the 208 compact cars and the 408 family cars, both among the largest segments in the Malaysian automotive sector.
Besides Peugeot, the Naza Group also took on the distributorship for Citroën in Malaysia in January this year, through its new subsidiary, Naza Euro Motors Sdn Bhd.
The acquisition of the Citroën franchise is part of the PSA-Peugeot Citroën Group’s restructuring of its overseas distribution network by consolidating distributors of both Peugeot and Citroën into a single company.
Naza Euro Motors launched the DS4 and DS5 models in February and currently operates six outlets, three of which are 3S centres strategically located in the central, northern and southern regions across Peninsular Malaysia.
Naza Euro Motors targets to sell more than 170 units by the end of this year. Considering that the company’s two new models are from Citroën’s premium DS-line range, Naza Euro Motors plans to position Citroën as a premium brand. Next year will see Naza Euro Motors creating brand awareness for Citroën.
The model range will also be expanded with the addition of the DS3 three-door compact car early in the year to complete the DS-line offerings in Malaysia, followed by the introduction of the Grand C4 Picasso MPV later in the second half of the year.
The DS3 is aimed at a younger audience, whereas the featurerich Grand C4 Picasso will be positioned as a premium executive MPV.
Considering Nasim’s track record in raising the Peugeot brand to prominence in Malaysia, the future of the Citroën brand also looks to be in good hands with Naza Euro Motors.