Auto sector back in high gear

  • Auto
  • Thursday, 18 Mar 2021

For this year, MAA projects TIV to grow 8% to 570,000, on the back of the renewed sales tax exemption and stronger economic recovery.

PETALING JAYA: Total vehicle sales rose 4% year-on-year to 42,784 units in February, spurred by increased traffic volumes to showrooms during the month following the lifting of the movement control order (MCO) in certain states.

The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) said in a statement that sales volume in February was 30% higher month-on-month compared with January.

An analyst from a local bank-backed brokerage said the marginally higher year-on-year total industry volume was within expectations.

“A year ago, there was plenty of uncertainty. Locally, there was a change in political power during the month of February and the world was beginning to face an unprecedented, global pandemic.”

The analyst noted that this had serious implications on sentiment and confidence.

“A year on, there is more certainty. Furthermore, the vaccine rollout has definitely improved sentiment and confidence.”

Year-to-date February 2021, total vehicle sales stood at 75,613 units compared with 84,030 units in the previous corresponding period.

An analyst said the lower year-to-date vehicle sales this year is mainly due to the implementation of the MCO on Jan 13. “This disrupted business and sales was affected, ’’ he said.

On the outlook for March, the MAA said sales volume is expected to be higher compared with February.

It said this will be due to a rush for deliveries by companies that have their financial year ending this month, as well as the resumption of the Road Transport Department’s full services for all types of vehicle transactions.

An analyst said the vehicle tax exemption will also help spur vehicle sales.

“With the country no longer under the MCO, companies will be able to leverage on the tax exemption to woo customers and push sales, ” he said.

Under the vehicle sales tax exemption, which ends on June 30, locally-assembled cars are exempted from sales tax while for imported cars, the sales tax will be cut from 10% to 5%.

At its first bi-annual meeting in January, the MAA said TIV had hit 529,434 units in 2020. This was, however, 12% lower than the 604,281 units achieved in 2019.

The drop in TIV can be attributed to the disruptions to businesses as a result of the first MCO that was implemented in March last year to curb the spike in Covid-19 infections.

For this year, the association projects TIV to grow 8% to 570,000, on the back of the renewed sales tax exemption and stronger economic recovery.

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