2015_Perodua_Myvi_facelift_vs_Proton_Iriz_ 001

National carmakers Proton and Perodua are expected to recover lost market share this year and close the sales gap with foreign brands, if not even regain dominance, The Star cites research reports as saying.

As incredulous as it may sound, AmResearch predicts Proton sales to grow 21%, driven by the Iriz, and Perodua sales to jump 6%, boosted by the Axia. In 2014, Proton sold 115,783 units; Perodua 195,579.

Citing strong demand for smaller cars as a factor, AmResearch also estimates the market share of national cars to regain dominance to 51% this year (from 47% last year), and the total industry volume to rise 3.6% to 690,724 units (MAA predicts 680,000, MAI predicts 700,000).

MAI (Malaysia Automotive Institute) also foresees the tables turning on the national versus non-national battle this year – it has predicted 52% in favour of the local players.

Mazda is expected to lead sales growth amongst foreign makes, with four launches slated in 2015, while Toyota sales could ease slightly, given a lack of major volume model launches and increased competition. The Camry facelift and Camry Hybrid (spyshot above right), both set to be locally-assembled (CKD), are expected to launch this year.

However, CIMB Research thinks otherwise – in an earlier report, it said it expected foreign brands to continue out-selling national carmakers this year, citing the narrowing price gaps as a result of the increased localisation of foreign carmakers.

“They will be able to claim back the amount that they have spent on localising their production in terms of reduced excise duty. We expect, as the foreign brands increase their localisation, the price gap between the foreign brands and the national brands to be narrowed even further,” CIMB Research reported. However, it added that Proton and Perodua’s new models could close the sales gap with foreign brands.

Proton sales to grow by 21% this year – do they know something we don’t?