Prices of Volkswagen vehicles are set to remain at current levels for the foreseeable future, despite pressure from a considerably weakening Ringgit. This was confirmed by Mr Florian Steiner, MD of Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM).
The Malaysian Ringgit’s value has been decreasing steadily against other major currencies for sometime now, with the recently-concluded US elections further jolting the exchange rate.
Most local distributors in Malaysia pay for stocks from their principals in US Dollars, Euro, or the Japanese Yen. A sharp decline of the Ringgit against any of these currencies inevitably squeezes the margins of the local operators. Bermaz Motor recently confirmed that Mazda vehicles are set for a round of price hikes come January 2017.
Speaking to the media at the official launch of the all-new Volkswagen Passat B8 for the Malaysian market, Mr Steiner also said that the days of Volkswagen dealers giving heavy five-figure discounts will be no more.
“During festive seasons, there will be certain incentives given; but we definitely will not be seeing again price discounts of RM30,000 to RM40,000. Those will be out of the picture,” Steiner clarified.
Under VPCM’s custody, the Volkswagen brand will look to refocus its attention to higher-specced cars such as the Passat rather than chase sheer volume as they did under the brand's previous management.
Steiner said that VPCM is aiming for a steadier path of growth and is not currently looking to sell more than 10,000 cars annually.
The Volkswagen franchise in Malaysia changed hands from Volkswagen Group Malaysia to Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia in September. VPCM is operated by Austria-based automotive retail specialist Porsche Holdings Salzburg (PHS). Unrelated to car maker Porsche AG, PHS is Europe's largest multi-brand dealership dealing with a variety of car brands. It is present in 26 markets across Europe, China, Columbia, and Chile.
2016 has been a busy year for Volkswagen in Malaysia. Besides the abovementioned change of management, the brand had also rejuvenated its core line-up of locally-assembled sedans, first refreshing the Polo Sedan to become the Vento, then facelifting the Jetta, and now launching the all-new Passat.