New vehicle sales in Malaysia doubled to 46,663 units in May 2021 from 23,366 units in the same month of last year, according to registration data released by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).
The market last month rebounded from depressed year-earlier sales, when economic activity in the country was hampered by the first Movement Control Order (MCO) imposed by the government to slow the initial spread of the COVID pandemic.
The country’s economy continued to decline in the first quarter of 2021, by 0.5% year-on-year after shrinking by 3.4% in the fourth quarter of last year. The economy had begun to rebound strongly in the second quarter from very weak year-earlier levels, until new lockdown measures were imposed by the government for the entire month of June in response to a new surge of infections.
In the first five months of 2021 the vehicle market surged by almost 91% to 245,932 units from 128,790 units in the same period of last year, with passenger vehicle sales rising by 89% to 220,785 and with commercial vehicle sales more than doubling to 25,147 units.
Market leader Perodua’s sales jumped by 128% to 17,973 units in May and by 82% to 96,281 units in the first five months of the year while Proton’s global sales were up by 66% at 9,440 units last month and by 108% at 57,283 units year-to-date.
UMW Toyota’s sales surged by 120% to 7,595 units in May and by 143% to 34,026 units year-to-date.
The strict lockdown in June, which affects non-essential manufacturing, distribution and sales operations including vehicle plants and showrooms, means that new vehicle registrations will be virtually non existent this month.