PETALING JAYA: Ongoing supply constraints and softer consumer sentiment amid rising interest rates are expected to weigh on automotive sales this year.
Following a weak total industry volume (TIV) registered last month, TA Research said it is maintaining its annual TIV forecast at 650,000 units for 2023.
This forecast represented a decline of 9.8% from the number achieved last year.
TA Research’s TIV forecast for 2023 matches the projection by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).
MAA recently revealed that the monthly TIV plunged 40.9% month-on-month (m-o-m) or 19.1% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 46,600 units in April.
By segment, passenger vehicle TIV decreased 41.7% m-o-m to 41,400 units, while commercial vehicle TIV fell 34.2% m-o-m to 5,200 units.
“The significant decline in TIV was expected post the end of the sales tax exemption scheme (under the short-term economic recovery plan or Penjana) last month in terms of car delivery,” TA Research wrote in its report.
“The decline was also caused by the shorter working month in April in conjunction with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays.”
TA Research maintained its “neutral” call on the automotive sector.
In April, all major brands registered lower sales volume.
Perodua’s sales declined by 41.3% m-o-m and 26.4% y-o-y after two consecutive months of increase, while Proton’s sales saw a 36.2% m-o-m fall but 10.1% y-o-y increase in sales volume to 9,200 units.
“We gathered that the Proton Saga, X50 and Persona models continued to be the top three best-seller models for Proton,” TA Research said.
For the first four months of the year, TIV was 10% higher y-o-y at 239,200 units, driven by both the passenger car segment with 213,300 units (up 11.3% y-o-y) and the commercial vehicle segment with 25,800 units (up 0.5% y-o-y).
Year-to-date (YTD), the combined sales volume of Perodua and Proton increased by 20.9% y-o-y to 146,500 units, commanding a total market share of 67.9%.
For non-national marques, all major car brands registered lower passenger vehicle sales of between 24.6% and 40.8% m-o-m.
YTD, the sales of non-national marques decreased by 5.2% y-o-y to 66,800 units.