While car buyers do not necessarily base their purchasing decisions on how many cars a particular brand sells in a year, automotive companies that are on top of the sales charts or have had experienced robust sales never fail to remind us of the fact.
The major running battles of the Malaysian automotive sales chart typically feature just a handful of brands; you have Perodua and Proton vying for the overall sales crown, the race between Honda and Toyota to become the ‘non-national champion’ (or best of the rest), and of course, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vying for the premium leadership title. No disrespect to other brands, but these squabbles tend to dominate headlines.
Back on top again
After watching Mercedes-Benz streak past them to become the best-selling premium brand in the country back in 2015, BMW Malaysia has in the past five years clawed back the deficit with their own product offensive and was poised to pounce heading into 2020. While retail car sales was not spared by the pandemic (TIV contracted by 12% compared to 2019), the government’s PENJANA stimulus in the form of sales tax relief did help the industry to make up lost ground in the second half of the year.
The media release titled BMW Group Malaysia takes the Leadership Position in the Automotive Premium Segment following Success in 2020 was emphatic and unequivocal in its message. Even though both BMW and MINI sold fewer cars in 2020 compared to 2019, the relatively small decrease is akin to scoring a par when others had picked up double bogeys. So, for the record:
- The BMW brand recorded 8,903 new owners in 2020 (9,300 in 2019), driven largely by the new 3-Series, 5-Series and various X SUV models
- The MINI brand recorded 987 deliveries (1,142 in 2019); the best-selling model being the Cooper S Countryman
BMW Malaysia emerges top of the game as we take No. 1 position in the Automotive Premium Segment in Malaysia.
Read more about it: http://bit.ly/TopOfTheGame
Now, it’s hard to claim you are number one when it’s not known what the rest did, or more precisely, what number two did. Traditionally, ranking has always been based on sales data provided to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) by the car brands, the information is then tabulated by the MAA and released periodically.
Interestingly, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) had at the beginning of last year called on the MAA to utilise registered vehicle data from the Road Transport Department (JPJ) instead of relying on submissions from individual car companies for greater accuracy. At the same time, MBM also stopped sharing its new vehicle sales data with MAA and has yet to release its 2020 sales achievements.
To a question as to whether the sales data affirming BMW’s segment leadership originated from JPJ, a spokesperson of the brand replied in the affirmative, thus laying to rest any doubts as to which German brand put more new cars on the roads last year. Evidently, the perseverance in pushing through with new model launches despite having to navigate a global pandemic paid off – BMW Malaysia is back on top again.