Vehicle sales in Malaysia rose by 13% to 52,297 units in October, up from 46,087 units a year earlier, according to data released by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA). Year to date sales were up by 14% at 505,546 units, from 444,037 units in the first 10 months of 2009.

The association cited strong consumer demand and improved supply of vehicles as key to last month’s buoyant sales volumes. Passenger car sales increased by 11.9% to 46,439 units, while commercial vehicles were up by 28.1% at 5,858 units.

The association expects growth to moderate as it normally does towards the end of the year, with some buyers preferring to wait until the next year before making a purchase. 

The outlook for the market is also good for next year, with the managing director of the second national car company Perodua expecting total sales to reach a new record of 600,000 units. This compares with average sales of 500,000 over the last decade and an expected record total of 570,000 for this year.

Sales of hybrid cars will get a boost next year after the government decided to remove excise taxes on these vehicles from January 2011.