Malaysia’s new vehicle market continued to grow in November 2023, by 10% year on year to 71,908 units from 65,642 a year earlier, according to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).
The strong market momentum continued last month despite the end of government incentives earlier this year and interest rate hikes by the central bank in the last 18 months from 1.75% to 3%. Economic growth accelerated to 3.3% year on year in the third quarter from 2.9% in the second quarter following a 14% rebound in the same period of last year from the pandemic lows The service sector grew 5.1% in the third quarter, helped by a rebound in international tourism and increased domestic consumer spending.
In the first 11 months of the year, the vehicle market was up 12% at 718,748 units from 644,534 with passenger vehicle sales rising by 13% to 645,667 units while commercial vehicle sales were 3% higher at 73,081 units.
Overall vehicle production also increased 12% to 708,376 units in this period.
The MAA said it expected the strong market momentum to continue in the final month of the year, with full year sales expected to rise 8% to a new record high of 780,000 units.
The government has set a target for national brands Proton and Perodua to introduce locally assembled battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2025. Deputy minister of international trade and industry (MITI) Liew Chin Tong said imported BEVs were currently exempt from import and excise duties to help drive up sales but with a minimum retail price of MYR100,000 (US$21,400) to encourage local production of cheaper models.
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Perodua sales increased by 19% to 299,115 units in the first 11 months of 2023, driven by strong demand for the Bezza, Axia and Myvi models. The company expected to sell a record 330,000 vehicles in Malaysia in 2023.
Proton global sales rose 12% to 141,900 units in the first 11 months of 2023, including 3,000 exports.
The Saga was the brand’s best selling model year to date (YTD) with 64,150 deliveries followed by the Geely based X50 compact SUV with 29,096 units and the Persona subcompact sedan with 22,560 units.
Earlier this year Proton said it planned to launch “at least” one locally made new energy vehicle (NEV) model per year in the next few years starting with a battery-powered model before the end of 2023.
UMW Toyota reported an 8% sales increase to 97,705 units YTD, lifted by the introduction of the new Vios compact sedan last March and the Innova Zenith in June which is available with a hybrid electric powertrain. Toyota officially launched the updated Yaris in September followed by the new Alphard minibus a month later.
The company said it planned to launch the BZ4X battery-powered compact SUV by the end of the year.