The increasing number of COVID-19 cases has led the Government to pull down the shutters in nearly all sectors of the economy in the country. Due to the FMCO, Honda Malaysia had to halt operations in the carmaker’s plant in Pegoh, Melaka, and its sales offices and showrooms around the nation.
The ‘lockdown’ only allows a skeleton crew for after-sales services. Even so, you can only have your vehicle serviced if you’ve made an appointment prior. The process was made more accessible through the Company’s HondaTouch app.
Nevertheless, the Company’s compliance with the directives of the time has yield unfavourable results. Only 5,700 vehicles have moved from showroom to driveway, a significant drop from the 12,000 cars sold in the same period last year – a decline of 52 per cent year-on-year from May to July 2021.
Honda Malaysia Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ms Madoka Chujo, said, “The prolonged business closure has also impacted Honda Malaysia’s new model production due to no testing conducted in the manufacturing facility. Furthermore, the Company’s supply chain and exportation of parts are also affected. The automotive industry supports a wide network of local components and parts suppliers that comprise a few tiers. These suppliers might not be able to sustain their operations, and this will subsequently affect the overall supply chain. The current extended lockdown and no visibility on business resumption timeframe have impacted planning and overall investment of the automotive marques.”
Beyond the supply chain, Honda Malaysia’s 101 dealerships are also affected, and the future of the sales and service advisors, and general staff, are in jeopardy. Incomes of the sales advisors largely depend on the commission earned, and the closure of the showrooms can only lead to tighter belts.
Ms Chujo also added, “Honda Malaysia understands the hardship that the dealers and Honda associates are going through, and hence, the Company is trying to do its best to assist them during the difficult times. One of the efforts is by registering Honda associates under the Public-Private Partnership Industrial COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PIKAS) to expedite the country’s rate of vaccination. The Company targets to achieve 100% of first dose vaccination for all its associates by mid-August 2021. As Malaysia has one of the world’s fastest vaccination rates, the Company hopes to achieve its vaccination target, and subsequently, the nationwide vaccination programme will help create a safer environment for Malaysians. Honda Malaysia is appreciative of the hard work of all the frontliners who have been working tirelessly to help fight the pandemic.”