New vehicle sales in Malaysia plunged by a further 88% to 7,086 units in July 2021 from 58,878 units in the same month of last year, according to registration data released by Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).

Economic activity last month continued to be severely impacted by the government’s latest Movement Control Order (MCO), introduced at the beginning of June in response to surging cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant. Despite this, GDP rebounded by over 16% in the second quarter from depressed year-earlier levels, when the first MCO was imposed to slow the initial spread of the virus.

For the vehicle market, only dealers located in the states of Sabah and Sarawak were allowed to carry out sales activities in June and July under strict safety procedures.

Sales in the first seven months of the year were still up by over 10% at 256,215 units from 232,423 units in the same period of last year, including 228,787 passenger vehicles and 27,428 commercial vehicles.

Vehicle production in the country fell by 94% to 2,775 units in July but was up by over 14% at 244,063 units year-to-date.

The government eased restrictions on dealer activity in a number of key states in August, including in Selangor and the capital city Kuala Lumpur, which has helped the market recover compared with June and July.

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