ASEAN economy boosting auto sales

Economic growth across select regions of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is driving demand for pickups, commercial vehicles (CV) and crossover sport utility vehicles, according to a report by market research firm Frost & Sullivan.

Frost & Sullivan’s Future of Mobility Growth Partnership Service found that an increase in the middle class in the Southeast Asian region, combined with a market shift towards energy-efficient vehicles, has increased opportunities for the ASEAN automotive industry, according to a press release.

“The uptake of vehicles will be augmented by the launch of several new and facelifted models, accompanying attractive promotional campaigns and motor shows,” Frost & Sullivan Mobility Research Analyst Vijayendra Rao said in the release. “Compact, affordable and eco-friendly, entry-level vehicles will continue to command high sales volumes.”

The research shows that Indonesia — with a shipment of about 1.2 million automobiles — and Thailand are the largest ASEAN markets. Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Isuzu and Nissan — all Japanese brands — currently dominate in both Indonesia and Thailand.

Toyota leads the Indonesian vehicle market with its new hybrid crossover Toyota B-HR, while Mitsubishi’s Colt-120 and Triton pickups lead growth in the CV segment.

Many new models are boosting sales across select ASEAN regions.

In Malaysia, Honda launched its Honda BR-V and Honda Jazz, as well as updated its Honda City.

In Indonesia, a mix of new models has entered the market, including the Honda Mobilio, Chevrolet Trailblazer, Mazda CX-3, Suzuki, D-Max, Vitara Brezza, Honda Civic, Toyota CH-R, Suzuki Ignis, Datsun Go-Cross and Renault KWID.

And in Thailand, the Toyota Vios, Nissan Note, Honda City, Subaru Forrester and Honda Accord have all been launched.

The study also found that Vietnam and the Philippines are emerging as key auto markets.

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