Malaysia's new vehicle market fell by almost 24% to 32,829 units in January 2021 from 42,942 units in the same month of the previous year, based on registration data released by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).
The sharp fall is blamed on the re-imposition of the Movement Control Order (MCO)at the beginning of the year, which severely restricts social and business activity in the country to help combat the recent resurgence of the COVID19 pandemic.
Month-on-month, the market plunged by 51%from a strong December 2020, when sales surged by over 25% to 68,836units before the government announced it would extend its sales tax holiday on passenger vehicles – which had originally due to expire at the end of 2020,until the end of June 2021.
Sales of passenger vehicles declined by almost 27% to 28,872 units last month while commercial vehiclesales increased by 13% to 3,957 units.
The MAA said in a statement "many customers brought forward their purchases in December 2020, resulting in lower stocks inJanuary for some companies". It added "recent production shutdowns due to the resurgence of the pandemic have also resulted in some parts shortages".
Proton reported separately that its sales fell by almost 30% to 5,964 units in January, and by over 55% month-on-month, with the company blaming the imposition of the new MCO for the sharp market decline.
Perodua said its sales fell by just 3.4% year-on-year to 16,894 units last month, and dropped by 33% month-on-month.