Malaysia's new vehicle market continued to rebound in March, with total industry volumes rising by over 10% to 53,717 units compared with depressed year earlier sales of 48,800 units, based on data released by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).

In the whole of 2016 the market declined by 13% to 580,123 units after six years of continuous growth – as economic growth in the country continued to slow. GDP expanded by 4.2% last year, from 5% in 2015 and 6% in 2016, reflecting mainly declining exports and weak commodity prices.

First quarter sales rose by 7.3 % to 140,839 units, from 131,251 units in the same period of last year, including 127,530 passenger vehicles and 13,309 commercial vehicles.

Perodua reported a 6.5% rise in first-quarter sales to 50,300 units, helped by the launch of the new Bezza model last year and the facelifted Axia in January. Perodua sales were up by just 0.8% at 19,400 units, resulting in a further loss of market share for the first national car company.

The association in January said it expects the domestic vehicle market to grow moderately this year, by less than 2% to 590,000 units, helped by a moderate pick up in economic growth.

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By GlobalData