Malaysian new vehicle sales increased 5% year on year to 68,156 units in September 2023 from 65,160 units a year earlier, according to registration data from the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).
The market last month continued to be driven by strong domestic economic growth, despite sharp interest rate hikes by the central bank over the last year, and the recent end of government purchasing incentives.
Demand this year has been supported by new model launches and an easing of supply chain bottlenecks after 2022’s component shortages.
Year to date, sales are up 11% at 571,767 units from 514,449 a year ago, with passenger vehicle sales rising 12% to 512,852 units and commercial vehicle sales just 2% to 58,915.
Vehicle production also increased 11% to 566,422 units YTD.
In July the MAA revised up its full year domestic market forecast to 725,000 units, a slight increase on last year’s record 720,658, reflecting stronger than expected domestic economic growth.
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Proton global sales rose 14% to 116,832 units YTD, including 1,600 exports. The Saga remained the brand’s best selling model with 51,484 deliveries so far, followed by the Geely-based X50 compact SUV with 24,960 units. The company launched its first hybrid model in May, the Geely based X90 three row SUV, but has been forced to recall the model to fix a wiring defect which has also caused production delays.
Earlier this year Proton said it planned to launch “at least” one locally made new energy vehicle (NEV) model per year in the future starting with a battery powered model later in 2023.
UMW Toyota reported an 8% sales increase to 76,511 units year to date, boosted by the introduction of the new Vios compact sedan in March and the Innova Zenith in June, which is also available with a hybrid-electric powertrain. Toyota began taking orders for the new Alphard minibus in August and launched the updated Yaris last month. It plans to launch the BZ4X EV SUV by the end of the year.