KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — After a three-year slump, the nation’s commercial vehicle industry is set to improve this year with sales forecast to grow at 1.5 per cent from 2016, according to BMI Research.
The report by the independent research unit of Fitch Group attributed the positive signs to the improvement in the nation’s overall economic condition.
“We expect a rise in economic activity to help support a rise in business confidence in Malaysia, which will support a recovery in the commercial vehicle segment.
“We therefore forecast commercial vehicle sales to grow 1.5 per cent in 2017 reaching 66,562 units, following a 13 per cent drop in 2016,” it said in a press release of its study.
BMI said its oil and gas team had forecast the crude oil price to average at US$57 (RM252.74) per barrel in 2017, which it pointed was an increase of US$11.87 from its 2016 estimation.
This, it said will enable Putrajaya to execute all planned infrastructure projects and other developments, which would translate into more purchases of commercial fleets.
“We expect the commencement of construction of these infrastructure projects to help drive demand for CVs, particularly heavy trucks as they are better suited to meet the logistical demands of the construction sector,” it said, using the abbreviation for “commercial vehicles”.
However, a downside to this outlook, BMI said was its view on the declining crude oil production in the second half of its 2017-2021 forecast period.