The Star Malaysia - StarBiz

VGM sees robust sales


PETALING JAYA: Volkswagen Group Malaysia Sdn Bhd (VGM) is optimistic about the outlook of the local automotive industry despite the tightening of loan approvals which is causing a slowdown in new vehiclesal­es.

“Malaysia has the highest number of passenger cars on the road in Asean. It remains the biggest passenger car market in the region with the highest demand. With more than 600,000 vehicles sold in 2011, the Malaysian Automotive Associatio­n (MAA) had forecast a 2.5% increase in vehicle sales volume in 2012,” said VGM managing director Ricky Tay in an e-mail.

“With these figures in mind, Volkswagen is looking at a very robust 2012,” he added.

An analyst from a local


It has wide range of models to cater to different target market

backed brokerage said he was upbeat about VGM’s sales performanc­e for this year.

“Those who go for brands like Volkswagen comprise a discerning group of individual­s and should have no problems securing loans to pur- chase such vehicles.”

Meanwhile, Tay said: “Volkswagen is in a unique situation as compared with other industry players as we have a wide portfolio of Volkswagen models to cater to different target consumers.”

Most car companies are reporting a slowdown in sales since the implementa­tion ofthe responsibl­e lending guidelines, which came into effect since Jan 1.

Under the new rules, loans are now approved based on net income compared with gross income previously. The new guidelines are intended to help manage the house- hold debt in Malaysia to reasonable levels.

According to the MAA, total vehicle sales slipped 6.3% to 47,736 units in April this year from 50,936 units in the previous correspond­ing period.Year-to-date April sales fell 11% to 186,280 units from 209,368 units a year earlier.

MMA said vehicle sales volume was expected to improve this month due to introducti­on of new models.

Tay confirmed that VGM would be launching a new model soon, although he declined to go into specifics.

“Volkswagen will be launching a face-lift of a current model within the next one month,” he said.

It learnt that the next model to be launched would be the Volkswagen CC, a four-door coupe version of the Passat. Market talk suggests that the Volkswagen CC could be launched as early as next week.

VGM recorded a 162% jump in sales to over 7,300 units last year – making it the leading European brand in Malaysia.

Tay said the sales increase was primarily due to high consumer response to the Polo 1.2TSI and the Golf 1.4TSI.

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