Asean Motor Vehicle Sales Slowdown to Continue


Automotive sales in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations dropped 3 percent in 2019, but sales of two-wheelers increased 3 percent, according to figures released by the Asean Automotive Federation this week.

Despite the drop of passenger and commercial vehicle sales to 3.5 million units, emerging markets like Vietnam and Myanmar showed double-digit growth of 12 percent to 322,322 units and 25 percent to 21,916 units, respectively. Indonesia, the largest automotive market in the region, fell 11 percent to 1 million units, while Singapore fell 5 percent and Thailand dropped 3 percent.

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Total sales of motorcycles and scooters increased by 3 percent to almost 4 million units. Singapore jumped 61 percent in the category to 19,356 units, Malaysia increased 16 percent to 546,813 units and the Philippines increased 7 percent to 1.7 million units. Thailand fell 4 percent to 1.7 million units. The AAF only tracks motorcycle and scooter sales for those four countries.

We forecast full-year sales of 3.39 million units in 2020 for the Asean region, but risks are on the downside, said U.K-based business consultancy LMC Automotive in its light vehicle sales report last month.

The company cited global uncertainty due to the United States-China trade war and escalating tension between the U.S. and Iran impacting exports and economic growth of some countries of Asean; natural disasters like floods in Jakarta, Indonesia, threat of volcanic eruption in the Philippines and drought in Thailand, weakening consumer spending; the strengthening Thai baht exerting pressure on exports; and an economic slowdown in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The regions production of motor vehicles and motorcycles fell for the first time since 2015.

Production of motor vehicles fell 5 percent to 4.2 million units. Vietnam fell 12 percent to 176,203 units, Thailand fell 7 percent to 2 million units and Indonesia fell 4 percent to 1.3 million units. Emerging markets like Myanmar and Philippines recorded double-digit growth: Myanmar jumped 26 percent to 15,496 units and Philippines increased 19 percent to 95,094 units. Production of motorcycles and scooters in Thailand fell 6 percent to 1.9 million units and Philippines fell 8 percent to 1.2 million units. Malaysia showed an increase of 19 percent to 553,382 units.

Traffic in Bangkok

Photo: Kevin Miller/Alamy

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