Boon for used car dealers

PETALING JAYA: Used cars are in greater demand following a delay in new vehicle deliveries due to the global semiconductor chip shortage, an essential component for consumer electronics.

While used cars sales in September recovered over 90% compared to the same month last year, used car dealers also said they had run out of some popular models.

Federation of Motor and Credit Companies Association of Malaysia president Datuk Tony Khor said despite enjoying brisk business, the used car market now had fewer cars to sell because of the reduced number of cars being traded in.

“South-East Asia supplies 27% of the world’s semiconductor chips and Malaysia produces 13%.

“Annual car production globally is around 90 million units and this shortage that was caused by the lockdown in many countries affected automakers and impacted new car sales worldwide, including Malaysia.

“Used cars are in demand now because of this situation. Some of the popular models favoured by Malaysians have reduced stock,” he said yesterday.

Khor said used car dealers enjoyed brisk business from January to May, with sales increasing by more than 10% compared to the same period last year.

“In June, business dropped 85% year-on-year due to the nationwide lockdown imposed following high Covid-19 daily cases.

“Then business went down 75% in July year-on-year,” he said, adding that the sharp dip was because Puspakom, the computerised vehicle inspection company, was closed during the lockdown, affecting the transfer of car ownership.

“In August, our business recovered by 70% as more economic sectors were allowed to open and the number of people who got vaccinated rose,” he said.

Khor noted that there are some 10 million active drivers in the country, and the number was growing each year with first-time buyers, half of whom opted for used cars.

He said used Perodua Myvi and Axia, Proton Saga and several other models under national carmakers were the most sought after, adding that the mid-range models were from Toyota, Honda and Nissan.

Malaysian Automotive Association president Datuk Aishah Ahmad opined that the increase in used car sales since last year was due to the pandemic as people opted not to use public transport.

She said some switched to using cheaper used cars as they did not want to face crowds while taking the bus or train.

“Used car buyers are usually from the lower-income bracket as well as people looking for a spare car for use by family members,” she added.

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