Friday, March 19, 2010

PM upbeat on car sector growth

DATUK Seri Najib Razak is optimistic that the automotive sector will grow healthily in tandem with the expansion of the domestic economy this year.

The prime minister said Malaysians will surprise themselves with an economic growth of between 5 and 6 per cent. But this will only be achieved with commitment to innovation, creativity and promotion of key areas of the economy.

"If the growth rate is healthy, the automotive industry will grow accordingly. I am confident that the industry will post healthy growth this year," Najib told reporters after launching DRB-HICOM Bhd's (1619) Audi showroom and Audi R8 V10 sports car in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The country's gross domestic product grew 4.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009. The automotive sector echoed the trend, with 20,753 more vehicles sold in the final quarter of 2008.

The Malaysia Automotive Association has forecast new vehicles sales to increase 2.5 per cent to 550,000 units for 2010. Najib urged the private sector to emerge as the key engine of growth.

They can help by investing more and increasing trade and stimulating domestic demand.
Meanwhile, DRB-HICOM managing director Datuk Seri Mohd Khamil Jamil said the group is budgeting RM20 million for three new Audi sales and service outlets including the Audi KL this year.

DRB-HICOM plans to open an after-sales service centre at Jalan Chan Sow Lin in Kuala Lumpur in May and a 3S (sales, services and spare parts) centre near Queens Bay Mall in Penang later this year.

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