Driv­ing the French Rev­o­lu­tion for­ward

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOTORING -

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.

Citroën DS5.

Peu­geot 208.

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