Mary has over 20 years experience as the editor of our Malaysian sister magazine, The Tyreman. Based in Kuala Lumpur, she writes articles for us on the Malaysian and other South East Asian markets.
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Daihatsu Malaysia registered a total of 1,410 vehicle sales last year, which exceeded their original sales target by 5 per cent.
To curb the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more cities are under lockdown, whilst non-essential businesses are being ordered to close. The pandemic has re-shaped our world, and the ensuring of movement restrictions has accelerated the shift towards a more digitalised world and has triggered changes in online shopping behaviour. As a result, e-commerce sales and delivery services have skyrocketed.
“Despite the pandemic, 2020 has been a favourable year for Daihatsu Malaysia. We have benefited from e-commerce delivery and courier transport with booming online purchasing activities as part of the new norm,” said Daihatsu (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd Managing Director Arman Mahadi.
He pointed out that the company registered a total of 1,410 vehicle sales last year. This, he said exceeded their original sales target by 5 per cent.
Business Growth Despite Pandemic
“We have achieved 26 per cent panel sales growth in 2020 as compared to 2019. There was a total of 10 per cent growth in fleet sales against the 2019 results, which showed that fleet customers had greater confidence with repeat orders. According to the Malaysian Automotive Association Report 2020, the Daihatsu Gran Max was the number 1 pick-up and panel van model for the light commercial vehicle (below 2.0L) in Malaysia for 2020. This proof that the Gran Max is preferred by many as a mode of transport especially for last mile carrier services, and it is an important achievement for us as we marked our 40 years anniversary in Malaysia last year.”
Arman admitted that the pandemic has brought about many challenges. On a look back over 2020, he said, there had been a rough start early on in the year, but sales subsequently recovered and started picking up from June 2020 onwards.
“The pandemic impacted both our sales, our services as well as our logistics. Our Sales activity was put on hold, especially from March to April, but we respected the situation for the better good and well-being of our employees and customers. As aftersales for automotive was listed under essential services, our service centres were operating on limited capacity and in regard to strict compliance of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). We are proud that we were able to fuel the growth of the local e-commerce and courier transport sector against the odds.”
When asked about the support that Daihatsu Malaysia rendered to their customers and dealers to weather the impact of Covid-19, he said, they implemented strict SOP guidelines and monitoring across all authorised Daihatsu showrooms and service centres to protect the safety and well-being of both their dealer partners and customers.
“We have ensured that Daihatsu Service Centres nationwide are on standby to service its fleet customers, especially during emergency assists prior and post MCO. Great emphasis has been placed on the utilisation of the Daihatsu Mobile Service, which caters specifically to reach out to our customers under stricter movement order. In addition, parts replacement is also readily available to be delivered to our dealers and stockist, especially during this period of movement restriction. This is in line with our effort to reduce vehicle downtime for these business vehicles to be up and running on the road as soon as possible.”
Effective Strategic Initiatives
While nothing can beat face-to-face customer interactions, he argued that it’s important to have various customer communication arsenals amidst the pandemic.
“We have embarked on strategic initiatives including the introduction of the Daihatsu e-Showroom through our company’s official website www.daihatsu.com.my to improve on our customer purchase experience. It reflects our effort in adapting to the new normal, whilst striving to stay in touch with our existing and potential customers. This might sound unorthodox and unconventional for the commercial industry, but we have received handfuls of sales enquiries and prospects. Others have included aggressive campaigns targeted to e-commerce, delivery and logistics industries.”
With the reintroduction of the MCO and declaration of a State of Emergency for Malaysia, Daihatsu Malaysia is prepared for another challenging year. “The continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic, which could possibly worsen day by day, and the responses have led to the halt of businesses and a huge increased in economic uncertainty. Even though Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has reduced the overnight policy rate (OPR), banks have been implementing stringent criteria for loan applications. In addition, the further instability of political scenarios in Malaysia might affect our customers purchase decisions due to uncertainty.”
He stressed that they would keep their momentum going from 2020 towards 2021 in spite of the on-going challenges posed by Covid-19. The company, he pointed out would continue to strengthen customer confidence, awareness and purchase consideration towards Gran Max.
“For the next 2 years, Daihatsu Malaysia will focus on enhancing a digital transformation customer experience through smoother processes or transactions, strengthening the Sales & Aftersales Program to capture more new business from fleets and, finally to sustain current customers. With the Sales & Aftersales Program and aggressive media strategy, we are confident with Daihatsu being more resilient than ever. We are also looking forward to activating Daihatsu Business Fleet Program activities again,” he added.
Currently, Daihatsu Malaysia has 25 authorised sales dealers and 33 authorised service centres located strategically across the country. Moving forward, Arman revealed that the company is implementing a Daihatsu Transformation Plan, working closely with their branches and dealer partners in strengthening networks and gradually enhancing on the facilities.
Also in the pipeline, he added, is to bring in an enhanced and improved version of Gran Max for better performance, safety and sustainability to continue to capture the market interest.
“相较于2019年，我们在2020年取得了26% 的销售增长。与2019年相比，2020年的车队总销售量增加了10%，这显示车队客户的信心大有提升而重复购买。据2020年马来西亚汽车公会报告显示，大发Gran Max是轻型商用车（2.0升以下）排名第一的皮卡和厢型车。这证明Gran Max是许多人首选的运输工具，特别是最后一英里运送服务，而这对去年迎来40周年纪念的我们来说是个重大的成就。”
他强调说，尽管面对疫情的持续挑战，他们将保持从2020年到2021年的发展势头。他指出，该公司会继续加强客户对Gran Max 的意识、信心及购买考虑。
他补充说，该公司也计划引进具有更好的性能、安全性及可持续性的加强版Gran Max， 以持续引起市场的兴趣。
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