Nasim to double capex to RM40mil next year

SHAH ALAM (Sept 17, 2013): Nasim Sdn Bhd, a member of the Naza Group of Companies, which is the exclusive distributor of Peugeot vehicles in Malaysia, plans to inject around RM40 million for the assembly of new models and new outlets in 2014 – double the amount it will spend this year.

Nasim COO Datuk Samson Anand George (pix) said the company plans to boost sales of the French marque in the country by introducing two new models and two facelifts next year.

"There will be some exciting lineup coming to our shores next year. I can't reveal the names of the new models, but we will introduce two sports utility vehicles (SUV), one multipurpose vehicle (MPV) and a passenger car," he told SunBiz in an interview.

With the growing acceptance of the Peugeot brand, Nasim also aims to extend its network nationwide by opening at least 10 new Blue Box or Peugeot 3S (sales, service and spare parts) centres next year.

Samson said Nasim is targeting to sell about 7,000 Peugeot vehicles this year, a 14% increase from 6,114 units sold in 2012. This will be spearheaded by the Peugeot 208 five-seater passenger car that was launched in April.

"Up to July this year, we have sold 3,590 units. We expect the bigger chunk of the total sales target will come in the second half of this year," he added.

Of the 3,590 units, 800 units came from the Peugeot 208 – the best-selling B-segment car in Europe – with another 500 bookings outstanding.

"There is a strong demand for the 208. We have managed to ramp up supply for the model and reduced the waiting period from six months to two months," Samson said.

"Our expectation is to sell between 200 units to 250 units of the 208 each month," he added.

Worldwide sales of the 208 have been outstanding. In the first half of 2013, Peugeot sold a total of 179,000 units of the 208 worldwide. Since the launch of the 208 in April 2012, a total of 462,000 units have been sold worldwide to-date.

Next month, Nasim plans to introduce the much celebrated 208 GTI , a high end performance car available as a three-door hatchback, and with a 200 horsepower output.

To support sales and help expand its network strength, Samson said five more 3S centres will be opened soon. The new outlets will be located in Setia Alam, Old Klang Road and Ampang in the Klang Valley and one each in Kuantan, Pahang and Johor Baru, Johor.

"With the five new outlets, this will bring our total number of outlets in the country to 30. This will take us to a higher level because Peugeot never had this number of outlets here before," he said.

Following the launch of the five new outlets in 2013, Peugeot will have a total of 153 service bays in the Klang Valley with the capacity to service up to 3,500 cars a month, up 46% from last year.

Nasim currently has 25 sales outlets, out of which 22 are after-sales outlets located in most of the major markets in the country.

Peugeot is one of the top best-selling European brands in Malaysia and presently holds a 13% market share among European brands.

"The European car market has grown exponentially over the last few years in Malaysia because the gap between Japanese and European models has narrowed. As our cars become more affordable, consumers become more discerning and are spoilt for choice," said Samson.

"For me the most important thing is that the car must be on the ground and be seen everywhere," he added.

Since taking over the franchise in 2008, Nasim has sold about 25,000 Peugeot cars to Malaysian consumers. Under Nasim's stewardship, the popularity of the Peugeot brand has been steadily increasing among Malaysians, making it the third best selling European brand in the market.

Today, the Malaysian market represents 85% of Peugeot's sales in Asean.

In 2010, both Nasim and Peugeot altered the landscape of the Malaysian automotive market when the French carmaker announced it had selected Malaysia as its production hub for right-hand drive markets in the region.

Out of the seven Peugeot models in its line-up, six are locally assembled at the Naza Automotive Manufacturing plant in Gurun, Kedah which currently produces Peugeot and Kia vehicles for the Malaysian market as well as for export.