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Volvo Cars Malaysia To Export EVs To Vietnam, Philippines: Malaysia Becoming ASEAN EV Hub

- Aims for 75% of all Malaysian sales to be EVs by 2025

- Auto industry awaits more good news from Budget 2023

Volvo Cars Malaysia (VCM), recently announced its ambition of turning Malaysia into an electric vehicle (EV) hub for the ASEAN market with its plan for exporting locally assembled EVs into Vietnam and the Philippines this year. It began exporting to Indonesia in 2022.

This is in line with Volvo Car Group’s plan to transform into a fully electric car maker by 2030. For the local market, VCM aims for 75% of sales to be from its electric line-up by 2025. For context, sales in 2022 were 3,194 units across all models.

VCM claims to be the first car manufacturer in Malaysia to assemble fully-electric vehicles locally. Transport Minister Anthony Loke has been quoted previously as saying that Malaysia needs more foreign expertise to grow the EV sector. Charles Frump, Managing Director of VCM added that ‘the exportation of our locally assembled electric vehicles is one of our many steps to propel Malaysia becoming a hub for electric vehicles in the ASEAN region.”

Volvo is also embarking on a direct-to-consumer (DTC) model to build its customer relationship. Its Online-Sales platform allows for a hassle-free buying experience with customers being able to view the available stock and enjoy price transparency.

A 2022 PwC survey for the North American market found that online sales of vehicles were reaching a tipping point, with 64% of dealers surveyed believing that between 20% – 40% of all car sales will move online.

On the local front, EV adoption remains low and industry observers continue to push for bigger incentives from the government to support the sector. Malaysia is claimed to have only 0.96 EVs per 1,000 residents, compared to 3 EVs per 1,000 residents in China. There were 2,093 EVs registered in Malaysia as of October 2022, according to the Malaysian Automotive Association. Fitch Solutions forecasts sales of passenger EVs to reach 4,449 units in 2023.

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