Naza Automotive Group aims to surpass RM1 billion in revenue in 2023, which will be driven by pent-up demand and backlogged orders for both new and used vehicles, the New Straits Times reported.

While the wider Naza Group diversified into other businesses over the years such as property, infrastructure, telecommunications as well as food and beverage, its automotive business continued to be its core and biggest contributor, accounting for up to 65% of the group’s total revenue, Naza Automotive Group chairman Datuk Jasmy Ismail told the New Straits Times.

“For 2022, the automotive business has reached RM600 million despite being a difficult year for the industry. It (the growth) will continue. In fact, we just finished our business plan for next year and have set the target to grow the automotive business in 2023. The target is to touch just over the RM1 billion mark,” Jasmy said.

The backlog in new vehicle deliveries was due to the global chip shortage, however the uncertainty for the new car business offered a positive break for the group’s used vehicle business, said Jasmy.

“Over the past couple of years, the global chip supply issue has created demand on this side of the business. We expect a bumper year for our reconditioned vehicles business next year of at least two to three-fold growth in units sold,” he continued.

The Naza Group is investing RM30-40 million over the next two years for the streamlining of its operations, digitalising its business, as well as to upkeep and facelift its premises, Jasmy told the New Straits Times.

“The principals want us to improve our physical showrooms. We are doing this now for Maserati and will be doing this soon for NZ Wheels, our dealership for Mercedes-Benz. Anything that involved investment in the upkeep or revamp of corporate identity (CI) will be costly because we are dealing with premium brands,” he said, noting that a revamp of CI could account for up to 40% of the total planned investment.

Given the timing of the automotive group’s reintroduction of Suzuki automobiles under the Naza Eastern subsidiary, which took place early last year during the pandemic, Jasmy said he is confident in the Japanese brand’s potential for growth, and the group has positioned Suzuki as a lifestyle brand with the introduction of the Swift Sport and the Jimny, he said.

At present, Suzuki sells 30 to 35 vehicles a month, and the Naza Automotive Group aims for the brand to achieve a monthly sales volume of around 60 units next year, Jasmy told Berita Harian. The group is also planning to add a third model to the brand’s product line-up in Malaysia, and this will occupy a different segment compared to the Swift Sport and the Jimny already on sale, Jasmy said.

Models such as the Alto and Baleno are Japan- and India-centric models, respectively, therefore a likely addition to the Malaysian market line-up could be the third-generation S-Cross, a C-segment SUV that has been aimed at European, Latin American and Asian markets.

Another possibility is the Grand Vitara, a B-segment crossover which is being co-developed with the Toyota Urban Cruiser HyRyder through Toyota’s partnership with Maruti Suzuki.