I brought my car for servicing yesterday at the Suzuki service centre. At the waiting room, I spoke to Ahmad about his outlet performance. He told me that his sales performance is sluggish. His outlet sells about 2-3 cars a month. To achieve the figure, he has to offer 0% interest or RM10k cash incentive to buyers.
He told me that the second hand car market is sluggish too. Hence, many potential customers are not willing to trade-in their cars at a lower value. The private car market is a good indication of our economic performance. If the confidence level is high, a lot more people will buy new cars or upgrade their vehicles.
At a meeting, Gerakan President Dr Lim Keng Yaik has requested for the Prime Minister to conduct a briefing session on the state of the economy to all BN members and leaders. He said that since the economy is doing well (FDI figures are up and well), the people should be given the correct feedback on the economy. This may be a sincere request but then again do we need the government to tell us that the economy is doing well if it is really doing well?
In 1995, the people told the government that they were very happy with the economic performance by reversing a huge mandate over to the BN in the general elections.
A deputy minister told me that the FDI figures reported in the UNCTAD report is a tad lower than what the country got. It this is true then the government should respond with the right figures. It should not stay silence on any misreporting because at the international level, the UNCTAD report carries more weight.
In reality, perception of the economy is not too good especially amongst urbanites. This must be addressed before it affects local consumption.