New vehicle sales in Malaysia rose by over 5% to 49,603 units in May 2022 from 47,207 units in the same month of last year, according to registration data released by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).

The association said the market last month continued to be held back by shortages of semiconductors, which has affected some vehicle manufacturers more than others, while the annual Eid holidays were also a negative for the vehicle market. Compared with April, the market was down by almost 12% last month.

Total sales in the first five months of the year were up by over 7% at 265,656 vehicles compared with 247,250 in the same period of last year, with passenger vehicle sales rising by almost 6% to 233,705 units while commercial vehicle sales surged by 27% to 31,951 units.

Perodua saw its sales increase by over 5% year-on-year to 18,901 units in May and by 9% at 106,179 units year-to-date, driven by popular models such as the Myvi, Axia and Bezza.

Proton global sales increased by almost 4% to 9,792 units in May, while year-to-date sales were down by 21% at 45,337 units. Exports jumped by 47% to 2,086 units in the five-month period, mainly to markets such as Pakistan, Egypt and Brunei.

UMW Toyota sales were just slightly lower year-on-year at 7,579 units in May, but were up by more than 9% higher at 34,026 units year-to-date thanks to strong demand for models such as the locally assembled Corolla Cross Hybrid and the Hilux pickup truck.

The vehicle market was expected to rebound strongly in June, after the Eid and also as the sales tax holiday introduced in June last year was scheduled to expire at the end of the month – unless the government agrees to extend it further at the last minute.