Malaysia's new vehicle market jumped by over 26% to 56,444 units in September 2020 from weak year earlier sales of 44,666 units, based on registration data released by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).

The market appears to be recovering strongly from a 55% drop in the second quarter after the government imposed a strict Movement Control Order (MCO) in March to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The government suspended the vehicle sales tax in June until the end of the year to help stimulate domestic demand.

The association said last month's strong rebound in passenger vehicle sales, of almost 28% to 51,422 units, was due in part to ongoing promotional campaigns by dealers and also to a sharp increase in domestic production volume. New model launches, including new, Geely-derived Proton SUVs, were also helping to drive up demand. 

The overall vehicle market declined by less than 23% to 341,489 units in the first nine months of the year compared with 442,985 units a year earlier, with passenger vehicles sales falling by over 23% to 310,008 units and commercial vehicle sales down by 19% at 31,481 units.

Vehicle production in the country increased by 15% to 51,987 units in September, but was down by almost 26% at 315,863 units year to date.