Malaysia’s new vehicle market declined slightly to 62,569 units in June 2023 from strong year earlier sales of 63,631 units, according to registration data released by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).
The market had already rebounded strongly last year from the pandemic lows, helped by government incentives including the suspension of the sales tax which underpinned the market through to the end of the first quarter of 2023.
The association said sales this year had also been supported by new models and a resilient domestic economy despite the central bank having hiked its benchmark interest rate from 1.75% to 3% in little over a year. GDP growth in the first quarter was better than expected at 5.6% driven mainly by buoyant domestic consumption.
In the first half of 2023, the market was up 10% at 366,037 units from 331,746 units in the same period of last year, with passenger vehicle sales rising 11% to 326,661 units while commercial vehicle sales were 4% higher at 39,376 units. Vehicle production increased 14% to 362,535 units.
The MAA has revised upwards its full year market forecast to 725,000 units, slightly higher than last year’s record 720,658 sales, compared with its earlier forecast of a 10% decline to 650,000 units, reflecting a stronger than expected first half and the resilience of the domestic economy.
Proton global sales rebounded 29% to 77,321 units in the first half of 2023 from weak year earlier volume, including 1,000 exports. The Saga remained the brand’s best selling model year to date with 33,325 deliveries, followed by the Geely based X50 compact SUV with 17,562 units. The company launched its first hybrid in May, the also Geely based X90 SUV, and said it planned to launch “at least” one locally made new energy vehicle (NEV) model per year in the future, starting with a battery-powered model later this year.
Perodua first half sales increased 14% to 144,690 vehicles from already strong year-earlier levels. The Bezza subcompact sedan was the brand’s best selling model in this period with 40,555 sales, followed by the Myvi with 32,319 units and Axia with 28,199 units.
UMW Toyota reported a 6% sales increase to 48,659 units year to date (YTD), lifted by the introduction of the redesigned Vios compact sedan in March and strong demand for the Corolla Cross and Hilux. The company launched the Innova Zenith in June, which will be available as a hybrid. Toyota also began taking orders for the new Alphard minibus this month and plans to launch the BZ4X electric SUV later this year.