Sales of new vehicles in Malaysia fell 4.8% from a year earlier in March, an industry association has said.

Some 44,205 units were sold in March, the Malaysian Automotive Association said in a statement.

From a month earlier, sales were up 20.5%. The association attributed this to the introduction of new models, higher sales of light commercial vehicles and a longer working month.

"The sales volume for April is expected to better following the announcement of the government's second (economic) stimulus plan," the association said.

In the first quarter, sales fell 9.2% to 118,681 units from a year earlier.

The association said it is keeping its sales forecast for the year at 480,000 units despite the decline in the first quarter.