The recent, if unsurprising, confirmation that BAuto, through subsidiary Dinamikjaya Motors, will be taking up the distributorship of Kia cars alongside that of the Peugeot brand has lead to some speculation at just how meteoric the rise in popularity of its vehicles could be, perhaps even quickly overshadowing Mazda’s presence.
Some analysts, such as those at CGS-CIMB Research, bullishly predict that at least 2,000 vehicle deliveries will be yielded as early as 2022, with that number more than tripling to 7,000 vehicles in 2023.
For some perspective, local sales of Mazdas totalled over 12,000 units in 2020, a rather healthy 4.2% increase over the previous year despite the economic slowdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and their cars’ higher asking prices relative to other Japanese brands such as Toyota and Honda.
Should this prediction prove accurate, that’s a pretty steep incline considering how poorly the brand had performed in the years that lead up to its prior distributor abandoning ship. Though, arguably, that has little to do with the merits of the automaker.
Other observers, however, hold more tepid projections. MIDF research, for example, reckon that Kia - under BAuto - would need closer to four to five years to match or even exceed the volume of Mazdas sold in Malaysia per given year.
In a report on the matter, CGS-CIMB analyst Mohd Shanaz Noor Azam said: "We also see an attractive opportunity for the after sales services business given that there have been over 45,000 Kia vehicles sold in Malaysia over the past 10 years,”
"BAuto could also benefit from Kia's aggressive electric vehicle (EV) roadmap strategy given that the Korean marque plans to introduce 11 EV models by 2027," he added.
As was previously confirmed, the South Korean automaker’s renewed push into the Malaysian market will be spearheaded by a locally assembled 3-car line-up consisting of the Seltos crossover and Carnival large MPV; the third car will be confirmed at a later date.
There are also plans to fully exploit the further investment planned for the Inokom plant in Kulim, Kedah, further cementing the strategic role of their Malaysian presence.
This planned expansion has the potential to increase plant productivity and capacity to even supply vehicles for regional export markets, maximising the terms of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA).
In the interim before CKD operations can begin proper, though, Dinamikjaya Motors will be focused on moving the existing inventory of new Kia vehicles carried over from the previous distributor via the existing network of 35 dealerships nationwide.
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