Perodua has been ranked the brand with the third most positive sentiment (25%) on social media in Malaysia. This was according to an automotive report released by CARMA Asia, which analysed the top 10 global automotive brands in Malaysia in the first quarter of 2020. As one of the two local brands in the ranking, Perodua’s position resulted from having positive Facebook comments written about its cars on promotional car posts, and on its precautionary measure to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, CARMA said.
Among the top 10 brands, Honda topped the list with the most number of positive sentiment (36%) followed by Toyota. According to the study, Honda's leading attributes are comfort, fuel efficiency, and stylish. Meanwhile, Toyota's attributes are safety, driving experience, and build quality. Honda is most frequently compared with PROTON, Toyota and Nissan, while Toyota is compared to Perodua and honda. The other brands in the top 10 include Volvo, BMW, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz.
Out of 100, Perodua’s favourability score was 69, being well-recognised for its financial performance. According to CARMA, the favourability of an article is based on the headline, length and placement of the story, accompanying photos, number and quality of sources, positive and negative messages, and the general tone of the article. Media outlets analysed include The Star, New Straits Times, The Edge Malaysia, Malay Mail, as well as automotive outlets including Zerotohundred, Top Gear Malaysia and Paul Tan’s Automotive news. In Perodua’s case, it earned favourable reviews of the Perodua Bezza, and topped the ranking in passenger sales in 2019.
Based in features mentioned positively in print and online media, CARMA found that Perodua’s positive brand attributes are safety, price and fuel efficiency. Topics that manly involved Perodua were corporate affairs (30 articles), financial performance (21 articles) and company strategy (19 articles).
According to CARMA, the articles predominantly focused on the brand’s sales results in 2019 and 2020, Perodua’s plans on selling about 240,000 cars in 2020 and reviews of the new Perodua Bezza. Less favourable articles, however, focused on temporary suspension of sales and after-sales operations due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) implemented in March.
Not surprisingly, Perodua is frequently compared with fellow Malaysian automotive brand PROTON, as well as Toyota. PROTON, on the other hand, only had 4% of positive sentiment which came from posts about car launches. That said, CARMA noted that PROTON did not have any negative posts on social media.
However, it did perform better in terms of favourability score (73 out of 100) and was also highly praised for its financial performance. These included selling 100,821 units of vehicles in 2019, and recording best January sales in 2020. Other positive coverages were earned from favourable reviews of PROTON’s X70 and X50 SU. Meanwhile like Perodua, PROTON also received less favourable articles following the MCO. PROTON’s leading brand attributes are build quality, fuel efficiency and comfort. The brand is most frequently compared with Perodua and Honda.
Favourability of brand when it comes to COVID-19 reporting
Like many other industries, the automotive sector is also not spared from the COVID-19 pandemic. Perodua had majority of articles neutrally reporting on its suspension of headquarters, manufacturing facilities and dealership in Malaysia due to the pandemic. Slightly more favourable articles were attributed by the presence of statements given by Perodua Zainal Abidin Ahmad. Overall, the automotive brand had a score of 55 out of 100 in terms of the overall tone of news on COVID-19 reported on each brand.
On the other hand, PROTON fared better in this area with a score of 67. In fact, CARMA noted that it received the most favourable coverage amidst COVID-19. Positive coverage stemmed from deputy CEO Radzaif Mohamed’s affirmation that the brand is doing just find during the pandemic.