Slight hike in car prices after SST rollout, Sime Darby admits

Sharina Ahmad
Sime Darby Group CEO Jeffri Salim Davidson speaks to reporters in Kuala Lumpur August 30, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 — Sime Darby Bhd said today it is expecting a slight hike in its vehicle prices after the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) starting September 1.

Its group CEO Jeffri Salim Davidson said the overall automotive industry expects a slower momentum in next few months but eventually, things will normalise.

“Theoretically, there will be an increase in prices. We will see a slow last quarter this year. The market will find its own equilibrium,” he said, after the group’s full-year financial performance here.

Sime Darby is the dealer for car marques, such as BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover and Porsche, as well as relatively affordable brands like Ford, Mini, and Hyundai.

Jeffri said most customers would have taken advantage of the three-month tax holiday which ends tomorrow.

“However, we expect the market to be normalised next year and gain its normal pick-up as per usual,” he said.

He noted the short-term impact after the reintroduction of the SST and stringent hire-purchase lending rules.

When asked about the impact of the government’s cancellation of several infrastructure projects, such as the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), Jeffri admitted that such action would have an impact on its industrial sector.

“We all know about the cancellation of the ECRL project, so it will definitely impact our equipment sales for the next six to 12 months.

“However, we hope this impact will be offset by other projects, such as the Pan Borneo Highway, West Coast Expressway that will continue the demand for our machines and equipment,” he said.

He added the portion of industrial industry business is small in Malaysia compared to China and Australia.

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