It has been two months since the announcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO 3.0) Phase One “Full Lockdown” period that was initially planned for the first two weeks of June 2021. The government also introduced the National Recovery Plan (NRP) with the idea to transition into Phase 3 by September where the majority of economic sectors are allowed to operate.
However, the majority of the manufacturing and services industries that are deemed non-essential are still not allowed to open today. In summary, apart from three states, the country is still stuck at Phase 1 with a higher number of daily cases than we first started the “lockdown” in June.
Honda Malaysia, the leader in non-national overall sales, has closed its Melaka plant, corporate office as well as dealer showrooms since June 2021. The closure of sales channel and minimal revenue from the shrunk aftersales services has affected all 101 Honda authorised service dealers.
The sales advisors whose income largely depend on commissions of new vehicle sales have been severely impacted. All 101 Honda authorised dealers face financial difficulties and the uncertainty of employment for sales as service advisors as well as other supporting staff at the dealership.
“With only certain aftersales services allowed and sales and manufacturing operations on halt, it is no surprise that sales have plunged. Honda Malaysia saw a decline of 52% in car sales for the year-on-year period of May to July 2021. We sold about 5,700 units in this period compared to close to 12,000 units sold in the same period last year when the country was under Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO),” said Honda Malaysia, MD and CEO, Ms Madoka Chujo.
“The prolonged business closure has also impacted Honda Malaysia’s new model production due to no testing conducted in the manufacturing facility. The current extended lockdown and no visibility on business resumption timeframe have impacted planning and overall investment of the automotive marques,” added Ms Chujo.
Honda Malaysia also expresses concern on the supplier network with few of the companies exporting their goods too. With no operations since June, the suppliers might not be able to sustain and could subsequently affect the overall supply chain.
Nonetheless, Honda Malaysia reiterates its full support for the Malaysian Government’s efforts to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic by adhering to the SOPs since it was imposed in March 2020 or just over 500 days ago.
“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 difficult times,” said Chujo.
Honda Malaysia is registering its staff under the Public-Private Partnership Industrial Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PIKAS) to expedite the vaccination for all its staff. The target is to achieve 100% of the first dose vaccination by mid-August 2021. Honda Malaysia is also appreciative of the hard work of all the frontliners who have been working tirelessly to help fight the pandemic.
Honda Malaysia hopes that should the early resumption of the automotive sector be possible under strict SOPs and guidelines set by the Government, there will be no long-term impact such as retrenchment of employees and can help to mitigate potential business closure among the supply chain.