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PETALING JAYA: UMW Holdings Bhd expects minimal car sales for July for both UMW Toyota Motor and Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) with the prolonged lockdown.

It said the full movement control order 3.0 (FMCO 3.0), which began on June 1, 2021, has adversely impacted the domestic automotive sector with only 1,921 units registered in June. Of this, UMW Toyota Motor delivered 85 units, while Perodua sold 1,009 units.

The group said online showrooms are proving to be a viable alternative for customers during lockdowns and the Toyota, Lexus and Perodua online showrooms are gaining traction as consumers are gradually moving towards e-platforms.

UMW Holdings president and group CEO Datuk Ahmad Fuaad Kenali remarked that to offset the absence of walk-in customers due to the closure, both UMW Toyota and Perodua had no alternative but to pivot towards online marketing and sales.

“Currently, both marques have a healthy level of outstanding bookings that can be fulfilled once lockdown restrictions are eased,” he said in a statement today.

“We are also appreciative of the government’s extension of the sales tax exemption to Dec 31, 2021 which will hopefully hasten the recovery. Upon resumption of operations, we plan to ramp-up production to hasten delivery to our customers.”

UMW Holdings said the prolonged lockdown has adversely impacted the automotive sector’s supply chain, especially components manufacturing. Furthermore, exports of automotive components have been affected, disrupting Toyota’s global supply chain.

Fuaad said the group hopes the lockdown restrictions will be eased with conditions on strict compliance with Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP).

Moving forward, UMW remains confident in the Malaysian automotive industry’s potential.

Recently, UMW Toyota revealed that it will invest RM270 million in local manufacturing of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) as part of its carbon neutrality initiative as well as to offer customers a wider range of vehicles, including technically advanced HEV.

“Barring continued lockdown and prolonged disruption in the global semiconductor chips, UMW expects the automotive sales momentum to continue, especially with the extension of the sales tax exemption,” Fuaad said.

He also expressed appreciation for the government’s various measures to support the automotive sector, as well as its customers’ continuing support for its products and services despite the challenges.

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