DAIHATSU has had a long presence in the Malaysian market which goes back to the 1970s when it began marketing the Charade hatchback. It was especially strong in the compact car segment and also had popular 4×4 models. Although its involvement in the establishment of Perodua saw it giving up its passenger vehicle sales in Malaysia, it continued to be active in the light commercial vehicle sector.
Last year, its Gran Max remained as the country’s bestselling pick-up/panel van model in the light commercial vehicle segment (below 2 litres). A total of 1,190 vehicles was sold nationwide, a volume that Daihatsu (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (DMSB) was pleased to achieve as conditions were challenging due to the auto industry being affected by supply chain disruptions and economic slowdown.
The increase in sales also reflected the increased volume in the commercial vehicle segment in 2022, with a total of 78,885 units registered (25% higher than forecasted). This was attributed to increased demand as companies began to make vehicle purchases in anticipation of an economic rebound after 2 years of suppressed business activities.
The continued good response to the Gran Max was attributed to introduction of an updated version in June 2022. This saw the inclusion of features such as power windows, a multimedia system, reverse camera and USB port for charging.
Additionally, DMSB and its authorised dealers around the country maintained a high standard of sales and aftersales support to customers, especially fleet owners.
On the aftersales side, the company has seen steady growth in its business with service activity steadily growing over the past 5 years. This is in spite of the lockdown periods of 2020 and 2021 when most commercial activities were stopped.
The increasing volume of Daihatsu service intakes was in tandem with steady overall sales in 2022, followed by consistent fleet sales support over the course of 3 years with a comprehensive service retention programmed for fleet customers.
“Keeping in mind that convenience and practicality are one of the strongest consideration aspects for commercial vehicle usage, Daihatsu Malaysia aims to deliver an overall driving experience in providing comfort, reliability, safety and above all convenience and practicality in every drive. For that, we believe the updated Gran Max receives positive reception, thus contributing to 2022 sales,” said Arman Mahadi, Managing Director of DMSB.
For 2023, DMSB will embark on its business transformation plan and dealer network expansion, with focus on areas such as northern, southern and east Malaysia. Its top priority is expanding and improving customer reach by building the ideal distribution network to reach new customers.