Malaysia's new vehicle market continued to shrink in September, with sales falling by 5.7% to 48,191 units from 51,106 units in the same month of last year, according to data released by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).

Passenger vehicle sales also declined by 5.7% last month to 42,644 units while commercial vehicle sales were 5.4% lower at 5,547 units.

Sales in the first nine months of the year fell by 13.8% to 418,433 vehicles, from 485,489 units in the corresponding period of last year, reflecting the continued slowdown in the country's economic growth. Annual GDP growth has fallen to just above 4% so far this year, from close to 5% in the whole of last year.

Vehicle production, which is mostly intended for the domestic market, fell by 9.4% to 41,453 units in September from 45,734 units a year earlier. Nine-month output was 16.5% lower at 386,965 units.

The government is reported to be considering new incentives to help the market recover next year, such as lower excise tax rates on small engine cars for first time buyers.

Separately, the country's second national car company, Perodua, reported a 4.2% drop in domestic vehicle sales to 150,900 units in the first nine months of the year but nonetheless claimed a record market share of 36.1%.