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May 10, 2023

Is Mazda PH's Distributor Looking To Add A Chinese Brand To Its Portfolio?

Is Bermaz Auto, the exclusive distributor of Mazda in both Malaysia and the Philippines, looking to add a new brand to its portfolio? That could be the case based on reports coming out of Malaysia, including one from The Malaysian Reserve.

With Bermaz Auto (BAuto) projecting softer sales in Financial Year 2024 of its brands (it also sells Kia and Peugeot in Malaysia) due to the lack of government stimulus measures and rising inflation, the auto giant is looking to go down market or electrified as means to keep their numbers up.

Though Mazda still accounts for 90 percent of BAuto’s revenue, the automotive conglomerate is keen on partnering with a pure Chinese EV brand, especially since Mazda’s roll out of EVs has been seen as “slow.”

In fact, according to a statement from Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd (AHIB), “any successful tie up with a larger Chinese EV player would be a plus” for the group. To that end, Bermaz Auto CEO Dato Francis Lee Kok Chuan visited an EV conference in China. There, he ended up engaging talks with Chinese EV brands such as Xpeng, Dongfeng, and Geely.

For now, BAuto’s move to secure the distribution rights to a Chinese EV manufacturer is exclusively for the Malaysian market. However, given the favorable tariffs that the Philippines enjoys with China, it wouldn’t be a surprise if their move will also help secure the distribution rights even for the Philippines.

Which Chinese EV player do you think Bermaz Auto should get?

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