New-vehicle sales in the four largest markets of Southeast Asia rose 8 percent to 1,069,710 in 2001, according to data compiled by Automotive Resources Asia Ltd., a marketing consultancy based in Bangkok, Thailand.
Sales in Malaysia, the region’s biggest market, rose 16 percent to 396,381 to account for more than one-third of the total.
Proton, Malaysia’s tariff-protected national automaker, accounted for 64 percent of sales in that country while Perodua held a 29 percent market share. Proton is the brand name and short form for Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd. Perodua is the short form for Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn. Bhd., which is affiliated with Toyota Motor Corp. subsidiary Daihatsu Motor Co.
Meanwhile, sales in Indonesia eased 0.3 percent to 299,607, dragged down by a 38 percent plunge in December because of severe flooding in several major cities.
In Thailand, sales rose 13 percent to 297,052. Sales in the Philippines fell 9 percent to 76,670.
By brand, the largest share of the combined four markets was held by Toyota and Proton. Each captured
19 percent of regional sales. Mitsubishi and Isuzu tied with an 11 percent share each.
They were followed by Perodua with 10 percent, and Nissan and Honda with 6 percent each.
Foreign automakers, attracted by the size of Malaysia’s market, have long criticized the government’s protection of Proton through high tariffs because it effectively denies them access. Malaysia imposes taxes of as much as 300 percent on foreign brands and postponed any cuts until 2005 to protect Proton.