Putting Brazil aside for a second (Sorry, Marcello!) Asia is where the car industry is looking for their next piece of pie. There’s Russia (let’s face it, Russia is more in Asia that it is in Europe), China, Japan and India. All markets with either big potential and/or plenty of customers. But there is a 5th place which always gets overlooked. South East Asia. Countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore are growing just as well, as the aforementioned countries, but never get the same attention. Well, someone has noticed their potential.
Industry Week reports that Peugeot-Citroen (PSA) has announced a deal with Malaysian car maker Naza, to use Naza’s plant in Gurun, Malaysia, to build PSA cars for export around the ASEAN region (which has a free trade agreement). The plan is to make this factory in Malaysia its regional hub for South East Asia. PSA Malaysia Manager Vincent Comyn believes that this trading block will have annual sales of 3 million units. This is quite a conservative estimate, considering that annual sales in this trading area are already 1.1 million. “Here we have a good partnership with Naza. We plan to steadily increase our line-up of Peugeot cars in the ASEAN market,” Comyn said. Those big ambitions will need big planning.
In Malaysia alone, Perodua and Proton make up 70 percent of the market. Toyota, Honda and Nissan take up what’s left. PSA is going to need more than a free trade agreement to achieve this goal.