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ASEAN Automotive Road To Recovery

ASEAN Automotive Road To Recovery

ASEAN Automotive On The Road To Recovery

Despite continued softness in the market, the automotive manufacturing market is steadily moving towards recovery. According to Globaldata, although the global light vehicle sales fell 33.8 percent in May compared to a year ago, it showed an improvement from April when sales fell a record low of 47.5 percent. Analysts believe markets will begin the long climb back and we will begin to get more signals on market demand for the rest of the year.

In fact, China will lead the global auto market recovery. With automotive production and supplies resuming and China lifting restrictions on the movement of people and goods since early April, vehicle sales have started to stabilise.

Here, we take a look at the latest developments in the ASEAN automotive market and its road to recovery:


With phase 4 of relaxations, Federation Of Thai Industries (FTI) expects gradual recovery of the automotive market as businesses restart operations.

However, May vehicle production production was down 69.1 percent in May YOY, totalling 56,035 units. They noted that 2020 vehicle sales could be 700,000 units if the outbreak stays under control, or 500,000 units if local infections continue into September. 

Furthermore, 50 percent decline is expected for the auto parts market, but the Auto Parts Industry Club expects gradual recovery of auto parts industry as Thailand enters Phase 4 relaxation

  • AAPICO Hitech (AH) expects losses in its Q2/2020 amid the continuing decline in the local automotive industry from the beginning of the year due to the pandemic, Marklines cited a Thun Hoon report. Among AH’s businesses is the manufacture of OEM automotive parts. The company, according to the report, plans to boost its production capability this year to serve new auto parts products.
  • Mazda has reported sales of 1,602 vehicles in May 2020, down by 60 percent YoY, but up by 58 percent from the previous month. In a statement, Mazda is seeing positive signs that the automotive market is gradually recovering, given increased sales in every segment.
  • Mazda has announced that it will resume two-shift operations at all its plants in Japan in July. Its plants in Thailand and Mexico will be operating on limited days. Mazda expects global production volume in July to increase by 50 percent from June, according to a MarkLines report citing Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun
  • Auto parts maker T. Krungthai Industries Public Ltd (TKT) has over THB500 million ($16.15 million) worth of backlog order in hand, waiting to be delivered to customers, according to MarkLines, citing a Thun Hoon report. TKT expects sales to recover in the second half of 2020.


GAIKINDO, Indonesia’s automotive manufacturers association, reported Indonesia’s total vehicle sales in May 2020 were 3,551 units, down by 95.8 percent YoY due to the coronavirus. Meanwhile, the government is encouraging innovation through its Industry 4.0 program which includes the automotive industry and EV industry.

Although sales have experienced a downward trend since the beginning of the year, PT Suzuki Indomobil Sales (SIS) remains optimistic that it can increase its market share this year. From January to April 2020, Suzuki’s market share increased to 11.5 percent, compared to 9.3 percent in the same period last year. (GAIKINDO)


According to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA), automobile sales declined 30.6 percent YOY to 19,081 units in May.

Vietnam ratified a free trade agreement with the European Union that will cut or eliminate 99 percent of tariffs on goods traded between the Southeast Asian country and the bloc, and provide Vietnam with a much-needed post pandemic boost, according to Bangkok Post. Vietnam will have a transition period of up to 10 years for some imports, such as cars. With this, insiders predicted the domestic automobile market will prosper in the last six months of the year and domestic automakers have the opportunity to develop as well as compete with imported cars. (VNS)

  • Toyota Vietnam has announced sales of 4,311 units in May 2020, up by 48 percent from April. (Auto Daily)
  • VinFast Production and Trading LLC announced in April that the inauguration and start of production of its automobile manufacturing plant will take place in June 2019 instead of September 2019 as previously planned.


Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) reported new car sales decreased 62.2 percent YoY in May. They expect sales volume for June 2020 to be higher than May as businesses resume after restrictions for economic activities are lifted and sales tax exemption announced by the government.

Furthermore, The Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) estimates a 28 percent drop in new car sales in 2020 due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) brought about by COVID-19, and that a minimum 500,000-unit total industry volume is needed in 2020 for automotive businesses’ continued survival.

  • The Malaysian government has agreed to reduce the sales tax for new vehicles for six months until December to revitalise the market, according to a report from New Straits Times.
  • For the 1Q 2020, UMW Holdings Berhad registered a lower revenue as disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic led to lower sales in the automotive and equipment businesses.
  • In May 2020, PROTON sold 5,676 vehicles, accounting for an estimated market share of 23.3 percent, but down by 46.5 percent compared to last year. Sales in May, however, was a 73 percent improvement over that of March. For January to May 2020, PROTON’s sales volume declined by 23.3 percent, while the overall industry dropped by 48.7 percent over the same period.
  • Perodua has sold 52,920 vehicles as of the first five months of 2020, giving it a 41 percent market share against an estimated year-to-date total industry volume of 129,401 units.


Operations of both assembly plants and dealerships have resumed with easing of restrictions. The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) reported a 84.6 percent decrease in May car sales YoY. According to Philippine Star, however, May’s production figure of 4,788 units was a vast improvement over the 133 units manufactured in the previous month. Furthermore, CAMPI expects total vehicle sales to drop 20 percent in 2020 due to the pandemic.

  • Auto parts makers have renewed their call to the government to support local parts manufacturing by implementing higher duties on vehicle imports and prevent small and medium parts makers from closing shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Philippine Star report.
  • Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program
    • Government introduced Incentives to encourage investments in vehicle manufacturing, while manufacturers have to manufacture at least 200,000 units of enrolled vehicle model within six years
    • According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), volume of vehicles required to be produced will remain unchanged even if automakers are unable to reach the target

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