How Many Car Mats Can You Sell in Malaysia?

When was the last time you bought new mats for your car? Who did you buy it from?

There are more and more players vying for a slice of the car mat market. Is this market big enough for everyone?

In our first edition of Serious Potential, we dive into the world of affordable custom car mats and help you decide if you have what it takes to take on this market.

The Problem

Everyone who owns a car eventually runs into one problem: worn-out car mats.

On one end are pricier cut-to-order mats and on the other end are cheap one-size-fits-all mats. In between is an opportunity for pre-cut custom mats that aren’t as expensive as cut-to-order mats or an all-sizer.

While this isn’t an entirely new category of products, new players are popping up every couple of years.

The Players

The Market

More cars are being bought every year

In 2022, with 33.3 million cars and 32.6 million people, cars outnumbered people in Malaysia.

As of 2023, car sales are on an upward trend. The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) reports a 5% increase in year-on-year sales for cars sold in September 2023 (68,156 units) compared to September 2022 (65,160 units). 

With public transport still developing, driving a car is still one of the most popular ways for Malaysians to get around, especially in states without a public transport system like LRT or MRT.

In other words, cars will be a dominant form of transport in Malaysia for at least the next couple of decades.

Challenges

High competition

It’s easy enough to measure the flooring of every model on the roads today and make blueprints for them. So having all the measurements in your database won’t be a unique sales proposition for any player.

Long replacement period

If your mats last too long, your sales will inevitably shrink. If they don’t, they’re too unreliable for customers to rebuy. On top of that, users don’t change their car mats like they change their phones – people aren’t rushing out to replace their mats when a new model comes out if the ones they’re using now work fine.

Stock car mats becoming higher quality over time

Some cars simply come with car mats of high enough quality to last decades if properly taken care of. This trend could grow as manufacturing becomes more cost-efficient, meaning new cars will increasingly come with pretty long-lasting mats.

Restricted offline growth

It will prove difficult to carry mats of every kind for every model, thereby restricting offline growth. Carrying too few ready-made mats puts you in competition with car workshops that have more experience tailoring mats for their customers.

Opportunities

Niching way down

Instead of going broad, go narrow. For instance, you could target owners of local brands, Perodua and Proton, focusing on bringing features specific to these owners that broad-based can’t afford to.

This strategy will also make it easier for you to expand your product line to include other accessories for your target audience.

Design

While most brands focus on reliability and durability, you can consider these a given and think about the design aspect of it. A car is a very personal belonging and there is a trend towards personalisation of every aspect.

Creator Affiliate Opportunities

If you are a creator, you can get commissions for selling car mats. Here are the affiliate programs you can join:

Trapo Affiliate program – up to 10% commissions

Alternatively, if you are already part of the Shopee affiliate program, you can most likely find the car mat brands there too.

Conclusion

Car mats are not the sexiest car accessory, but it is seeing a growth in the number of brands in recent years. While the promise is big, for a player whose key USP is delivering a mat for every car model in the market, growth could become stunted.

Innovation is required outside of the obvious features (durability, cleanliness, quality) for any brand to thrive in the long-term.

Disclaimer

  • Only publicly available information is used for this analysis. If private details are used, permission has been obtained.
  • This analysis is not meant to be used as the final advice for venturing into a business. Before doing so, you should conduct an in-depth professional analysis considering your financial standing and capabilities.

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