Thursday, January 13, 2011

VW to be malaysia No.1 luxury car market?

By The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd outgoing president and chief executive officer Peter Honegg believes that the local luxury car market will be shaken up by rival and fellow German automaker Volkswagen in the next three to five years.

“They (Volkswagen) will change the automotive landscape in Malaysia,” Honegg said at a briefing yesterday on Mercedes-Benz Malaysia's 2010 sales performance.

“However, they need to do proper analyses. They want to become No. 1 and they need to chase that (goal). They are already chasing,” he added.

Honegg was commenting on the potential impact of DRB-HICOM Bhd's collaboration and licence agreement with Volkswagen AG to manufacture Volkswagen cars at the former's plant in Pekan, Pahang.

Local assembly means prices of the cars will be cheaper. The local manufacture of the first Volkswagen model is scheduled to commence in the final quarter of this year.

Honegg said while Mercedes-Benz Malaysia had successfully maintained its leading position within the local luxury car segment over the past few years, he believed that the entry of Volkswagen's locally assembled vehicles into the market in future would intensify competition.

“So far, we've maintained our market position despite the entry of luxury players such as Lexus. Even Volvo is coming back strong. (But) Volkswagen will make a big, big difference. I'm pretty sure of it. They will change the landscape in three to five years.”

Honegg's sentiment was shared by an analyst from a local bank-backed brokerage.

“The collaboration with DRB-HICOM means Volkswagen cars will be more affordable and more attractive, especially within the local luxury segment.

“However, as production of the cars will only begin at the end of the year, we only expect to see any impact from next year,” he said.

Malaysian Billionaire :

* Hopefully 2yrs down the road, i will driving a Touareg and Scirocco.