Business sentiment has improved significantly in the last two months, despite new measures introduced by the government to contain a recent surge in COVID-19 infections, with industrial output and exports rebounding strongly in this period.

Sales in the first four months of the year increased by over 8.4% to 1,779,638 units from 1,642,119 in the same period of last year, with passenger car sales rising by 8.6% to 1,485,221 units while truck sales were 8.1% higher at 291,317 units. The market for buses and coaches continued to struggle with reduced demand for travel due to the pandemic, however, with sales plummeting by over 36% to 3,100 units over the four-month period.

Toyota was one of the best-performing brands year-to-date, with sales rising by 11.5% to 559,386 units; while Suzuki saw its sales surge by 17.3% to 257,388 units; Honda 229,662 (-1.1%); Daihatsu 226,431 (+7.8%); Nissan 190,775 (-9.6%); and Mazda 72,001 (-0.2%). Sales of imported vehicles increased by 5.8% to 85,399 units.