PETALING JAYA: A total of 22,960 vehicles were sold last month, with nearly 60% of the units comprising national makes as more customers opted for smaller engine capacity vehicles or more fuel efficient cars in light of the economic uncertainty.
According to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), total vehicle sales fell 62% year-on-year last month from 60,760 units in the previous corresponding period, as generally people were still fearful to come out and consumer sentiment remained cautious.
It said in its note yesterday that the Road Transport Department only resumed new vehicle passenger registration from May 13 onwards.
Of the 22,960 number of vehicles sold last month, 13,562 units consist the national makes. An analyst said the uncertainty brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic has made people become wary on their spending habits.
“In a downturn, it is not uncommon for customers to resort to cheaper, more fuel-economical cars. Generally, though not always, national car companies will benefit the most.”
According to reports, Proton sold 5,676 vehicles last month, accounting for an estimated market share of 23.3%. Perodua meanwhile said it closed the month of May with 7,886 cars sold, accounting for about 41% of total market share.
On its forecast for June, the MAA said sales volume is expected to be higher than May.
“Business resumed after the lifting of restrictions for most economic activities. Traffic to car showrooms has improved after the announcement on sales tax exemption by the government, ” it said.
An analyst concurred, saying that the sales tax exemption on vehicles announced by the government earlier this month would bode well for the automotive sector in general.
“Cars are a lot cheaper from June 15 onwards. Sales for this month will definitely be better than last month.
“Year-on-year, however, it may not surpass last month’s figures as there is plenty of uncertainty, with many people either unemployed or in fear of losing their jobs, ” the analyst said. In a bid to lift sales, the government announced on June 5 that locally assembled cars will be fully exempted from the sales tax while for imported cars, the sales tax will be cut from 10% to 5%, from June 15 to Dec 31,2020.
Last month, the MAA announced it was revising downward its 2020 total industry volume forecast to 400,000 units from 607,000 previously. The 400,000 units forecast would represent a 34% contraction from 2019’s 604,287 units. It also marks the first time in 13 years since the TIV failed to surpass the 500,000-unit mark.
Total vehicle sales plunged 99% year-on-year to 141 units in April, as the government’s movement control order forced all automotive companies to cease operations during the month. Year-to-date May, total vehicle sales for 2020 stood at 129,561 units, compared with 253,731 units in the previous corresponding period.
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