The group estimates that the Indonesian market declined by more than 10% in 2019. The decline is as a result of the political uncertainty in the first half of the year and the sharp downturn in the export sector. Looking ahead LMC Automotive said that sales could be under 1m units in 2020.
Meanwhile, sales in Malaysia grew by 11.0% in November 2019, compared with the same month in 2018. LMC Automotive describes this result as 'impressive' and attributes it 'to a low base in 2018'. The consultants added that looking at the year-to-date, sales in Indonesia are at 500 ,000 units.
Sales in Thailand fell by 19.0% in November 2019, compared with November 2018. LMC Said that this is the sixth consecutive month of decline. Comparing the first eleven months of the year with the same period in 2018, the contraction in light vehicle demand was 0.9%. This is 'thanks to a strong result in the first five months of the year.' LMC estimates that the Thai car market is likely to be flat in 2020.
This is because of the strength of the Thai Baht and the country's economic slowdown. New model launches could offset this and so could the country's eco-car scheme. Year-to-date sales in the country were 449,000 units by the end of November. This is down by 1.0% compared with the same month last year.
Sales in the Philippines advanced by 8.0% in November 2019. The country's sales grew robustly in the second half of the year said LMC. The consultants estimate that around 402,000 units will be sold this 2019. In 2020 it is forecasting the momentum to carry in to the first half the year. But the consultants warn that car makers may have to increase prices to cover import costs.
Sales in Vietnam rose by 8.0% in November 2019 and full year 2019 sales are likely to be around 387k units. This is up 20% on 2018 and is because of passenger vehicle sales. But for 2020, LMC Automotive said the country's slowing GDP and light vehicle sales are likely to be a break on sales. Vietnamese year-to-date sales were 263,000 units in November 2019 This is up by 29.0% compared with the same month last year.
For 2019, the consultants forecast regional full-year sales of around 3.33 n units, down from 3.37m units in 2018.
Looking to 2020, sales could be around 3.3.9m units.
But they warn this is on the optimistic side. There are four major risks: global uncertainties such as the US-Iran, US-China tensions; natural disasters; and, the strong Thai baht which is putting pressure on exports.
A looming economic slowdown looming in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia completes quartet of risks.