Southeast Asian auto sales outlook gloomy
BANGKOK — New car sales in six major Southeast Asian countries — Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore — in June has declined by 10% from a year earlier to 252,618 units. Sales have decreased on a year-on-year basis for 26 consecutive months.
New car sales in Indonesia have hit a wall.
The difficult business environment for automakers is likely to continue in Southeast Asia, which is seen as a key region for driving growth.
In Indonesia, the region’s largest market, new car sales in June dropped 26% to 82,139 units, the first decrease exceeding 25% in five years and nine months. It was the largest sales decline since the end of the global financial crisis.
The decline was largely attributable to price hikes for cars as component costs rose in the wake of a weakening currency. An economic slump also cooled consumer sentiment and discouraged prospective buyers. Among Indonesia’s top 10 carmakers, nine recorded decreases in sales. Only Japan’s Nissan Motor saw sales rise.
The Association of Indonesia Automotive Industries in May slashed its sales forecast for 2015 by a maximum of 20%, and an additional cut is possible. In May, the industry group forecast sales of 1 million to 1.1 million units.