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Business

Honda adds sales and service centers in Malaysia

Automaker aims to enhance its business base in the growing market

Honda's 3S Center in the city of Klang, Selangor.The Japanese automaker is strengthening its maintenance and other services in Malaysia, where its market share is on the rise.

TOKYO -- Honda Motor is adding large service bases in Malaysia, where sales of its four-wheeled vehicles are soaring. Its latest such facility recently opened in the central Malaysian state of Selangor.

Honda Malaysia, which manufactures and markets Honda cars locally, launched the 3S Center, which handles everything from auto sales, inspection and service to parts replacement, in the city of Klang.

The investment totaled 22 million ringgit ($5.21 million).

The 6,700 sq.-meter facility will serve customers in the Kuala Lumpur metropolitan area. The facility boasts 24 service pits, which can together accommodate up to 120 cars a day.

Some of the pits focus on providing quick service and others specialize in examining the condition of tires and air conditioners. While the work is being conducted, customers can wait in a cafe and lounge inside the facility.

The latest move follows the opening of a massive service base in the northeastern state of Kelantan and another in the southern state of Johor.

The automaker will open three more local dealerships by the end of this year. Currently, it has 90 dealerships in the country.

Rising share

Driving Honda's policy is its rising market share in Malaysia, fueled by its aggressive introduction of new cars. The automaker wants to solidify its business foundation in the growing market by offering extensive customer services.

Honda started producing four-wheeled vehicles in Malaysia in 2003, with the first model the CR-V sport utility vehicle.

Unlike in Thailand, where pickup trucks are the major players in the country's auto market, passenger cars sell well in Malaysia, as in Japan.

Honda's auto sales in Malaysia are on an upward trend. It sold about 91,830 new cars in the country in 2016, up about 80% from 2013. Last year, it had the largest market share among foreign automakers in the country, at 15.8%.

This year, the automaker plans to introduce a small SUV, the BR-V, and other new cars with a goal of selling more than 100,000 cars a year.

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