Honda Malaysia sees car sales plunge 52pc during FMCO, hopes auto sector will reopen soon for economy’s sake

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Honda Malaysia’s managing director and CEO Madoka Chujo said the car maker had to close its Pegoh, Melaka manufacturing plant as well as sales offices and dealer showrooms since June, in accordance with the government standard operating procedures during the FMCO. — Reuters pic
Honda Malaysia’s managing director and CEO Madoka Chujo said the car maker had to close its Pegoh, Melaka manufacturing plant as well as sales offices and dealer showrooms since June, in accordance with the government standard operating procedures during the FMCO. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 ― Honda Malaysia took a major hit during the extended lockdown as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, with car sales declining 52 per cent for the year-on-year period between May to July 2021.

Its managing director and CEO Madoka Chujo said the car maker had to close its Pegoh, Melaka manufacturing plant as well as sales offices and dealer showrooms since June, in accordance with the government standard operating procedures during the full movement control order (FMCO).

“With only certain after-sales services allowed and sales and manufacturing operations on halt, it is no surprise that sales have plunged.

“We sold about 5,700 units in this period compared to close to 12,000 units sold in the same period last year when the country was under conditional movement control order (CMCO) and Recovery movement control order (RMCO),” she said in a statement today.

Chujo said the prolonged business closure has also impacted Honda Malaysia’s new model production as no testing could be conducted in the manufacturing plant.

She added that the company’s supply chain and exportation of parts have also been affected.

“The automotive industry supports a wide network of local components and parts suppliers that comprises a few tiers. These suppliers might not be able to sustain their operations and this will subsequently affect the overall supply chain.

“The current extended lockdown and no visibility on business resumption timeframe have impacted planning and overall investment of the automotive marques,” she said.

She said that the domino effect the FMCO has had on all 101 Honda authorised dealers who face financial difficulties and the uncertainty of employment for sales and service advisers as well as other staffs at the dealers is even more worrisome.

“The sales advisors whose income largely depend on commission earned, have been severely impacted.

“Honda Malaysia understands the hardship that the dealers and Honda associates are going through, and hence, the Company is trying to do its best to assist them during the difficult times,” she said.

She added that one of the initiatives done by the Company is by registering Honda associates under the Public-Private Partnership Industrial Covid-19 Immunisation Programme to expedite the country’s rate of vaccination.

She said the company targets to achieve 100 per cent first dose vaccination for all its associates by the middle of this month.

“As Malaysia has one of the world’s fastest vaccination rates, the Company hopes to achieve its vaccination target and subsequently the nationwide vaccination programme will help create a safer environment for Malaysians.

“Honda Malaysia is appreciative of the hard work of all the frontliners who have been working tirelessly to help fight the pandemic,” she said.

Chujo hopes the government will allow early resumption of the automotive sector as soon as possible for the sake of the economy.

“Honda Malaysia hopes that should the early resumption of the automotive sector be possible under strict SOPs and guidelines set by the Government, there will be no long-term impact such as retrenchment of employees and can help to mitigate potential business closure among the supply chain.

“Nevertheless, Honda Malaysia will continue to rise to the challenges and encourage everyone to embrace the spirit of ‘Together As One’ by continuing to follow the SOPs to protect themselves and the people around them,” she added.

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