Now, nearly 30 percent of new cars sold in Malaysia are SUVs, up 6x from 2014
Hans · Dec 31, 2021 03:27 PM
Soon, 1 in every 3 new cars sold in Malaysia will be an SUV
Sedans dropped from 78 to 64 percent
MPVs dropped from 16 to 7 percent
By the end of 2022, it is projected that one in every 3 new cars sold in Malaysia will be an SUV. As for June 2021, the market share of SUVs now stand at 29 percent, according to data by the Malaysia Automotive Association.
The figure is compared against passenger carrying vehicles, excluding commercial vehicles like pick-up trucks, prime movers, buses, or panel vans.
As expected, the growth of SUVs came at the expense of sedans and MPVs. The market share for sedans has dropped from 78 percent in 2014 to 64 percent today, while MPVs dropped from 16 percent to 7 percent in that same period.
In 2014, the market share for SUVs stood at just 5 percent. Back then, the SUV market was dominated by just 2 models – Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5.
The third generation Nissan X-Trail joined one year later, but it was the Honda HR-V that gave the segment a massive boost.
Launched in February 2015 with starting price of just under RM 100k, the Honda HR-V hit all the right notes and topped from sales charts from the first day. The HR-V almost single-handedly doubled SUVs market share in Malaysia to 10 percent by the end of 2015.
Buyers were attracted by its easy to drive and compact dimensions, good fuel economy that rivals smaller sedans, while its high seating position makes getting in and out of the car easier. Buyers also say they appreciated the taller driving position as it allows them to see further ahead in traffic, plus the better feeling of security.
The SUV segment kept growing to reach 14 percent in 2018.
Up until this point, our (quasi) national brands Proton and Perodua have been sitting on the sidelines, but 2019 marked the beginning of the end of Honda’s dominance in SUVs, because that’s just how protected markets like ours work.
Once Proton / Perodua gets into the act, everyone else needs to move out of the way because there’s just no way for foreign brands to match the low prices enjoyed by tax-deducted domestic marques.
In December 2018, Proton launched the Proton X70, first as an imported model from China. A few months later in February 2019, the Perodua Aruz was launched.
By the end of 2019, this second wave of mass-market SUVs had boosted SUVs’ market share to 23 percent.
The launch of the Proton X50 in October 2020 and Perodua Ativa in March 2021 are important milestones because close to 70 percent of all cars sold in Malaysia are priced below RM 100k.
The Perodua Ativa starts at RM 61,500, while the Proton X50 starts at RM 79,200. For many buyers, the Ativa and X50 are their first new SUV.
However, the MPV segment is expected to make a comeback next year, with the all-new 2022 Toyota Avanza / Daihatsu Xenia-based Perodua Alza.