Is This The Year To Buy A New Car


 

In Chinese astrology, the Wood Dragon year is generally considered auspicious for making big purchases like a car.
The qualities associated with the dragon, such as strength, power, and good luck, can be beneficial in ensuring a successful and favourable outcome when making significant investments.
However, think about your personal financial situation and any external factors before making a major purchase like a new car. Could you get by with a second-hand car or motorcycle, for instance?
But if you have a steady income and can afford your own vehicle, a new car is always more reliable than a second-hand car.
This year will be a historic year for the motor industry in Malaysia.
The record number of 10,000 electric vehicles sold last year shows that the government’s tax exemptions for EVs have gained traction. And with at least three more China makers launching their car models in Malaysia including EVs, this year could see EVs quickly gaining market share in a contracting total industry volume.
Malaysia’s economic outlook for this year is grim: GDP growth last year fell short of forecast and will impact this year’s growth. The ringgit is shrinking together with buying power.
Those of us with a bit more discretionary income and who already have two or more combustion cars will probably choose an EV to experience a new technology that’s more efficient and less harmful to the environment.
So, let’s talk about EVs. I have only combustion-engine cars in my garages and I’m looking forward to buying my first EV. That’s because I’m biased towards EVs. And I’m biased towards EVs because of their economics.
An electric motor is 85% fuel efficient while a combustion engine is 20% fuel efficient, wasting 80% of the fuel as heat loss and emission of pollutants.
The electric motor is so much more powerful, with power on tap from 0 rpm, compared to a combustion-engined car.
I can live without the intoxicating exhaust note of a popular big SUV such as the Range Rover V8. Range anxiety is not something new to me, even from the days of a motorcycle-riding student.
Now let’s talk about the Malaysia car market from the car buyer’s point of view:
This year, we’re going to be spoiled for choice as long as we keep an open mind. Some of us, though, will be blinded by brand loyalty and would not consider a car brand with an unproven track record.
But consider two things: The Malaysian car market is one of the most sophisticated in Asean. A majority segment of the market are willing to try new car brands without too much thought to depreciation.
Secondly, almost all the best cars that China can make will soon be in Malaysia, if they are not already here. While beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, prices of China-made cars are compelling.
The top 10 Chinese car makers are:
1. BYD Auto Co Ltd
2. Great Wall Motors Company Limited
3. Chery Automobile Co Ltd
4. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely)
5. SAIC Motor Corporation Limited
(All five are already in Malaysia)
6. BAIC Group
7. Chang’an Automobile (Group) Co Ltd
8. GAC Group (Guangzhou Automobile Group)
9. Dongfeng Motor Corporation (in Malaysia)
10. Brilliance Auto Group
SAIC and BAIC will launch their cars in Malaysia this year.
And even for lovers of heritage, the Stellantis group will be rolling out its flagship Peugeot brand under its own management. Taking the cue from Toyota and Honda, it will have a factory presence in key Asean markets including the Gurun plant in Malaysia for Peugeot and its LandTrek pick-up truck. It has a factory in Indonesia making small Citroen cars.
For us romantics, Peugeot will not only introduce its combustion cars but also, eventually, its EVs including the e-208 and some electric vans. With Stellantis investing directly in Malaysia as the national sales company and as the brand owner, it will be more inclined than a franchisee would towards bringing the latest new cars to Malaysia.
More cheer too from market sources who say that Stellantis – which means a constellation of stars — will revive the Alfa Romeo, Jeep and Citroen brands in Malaysia.
If you’re planning to buy a new car this year or the next, it will be a good time to visit all the car shows and learn about what’s available. And for lovers of trusted marques, give a cheer to Stellantis for being the only one of the Big 3 US companies to invest in Malaysia as one of its hubs for the Asean region. - FMT
Yamin Vong can be contacted at FB yamin.com.my.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.


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