New vehicle sales in Malaysia rose by 15.6% year-on-year in May to 50,845 units, from 43,985 units, according to data published by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).

Domestic vehicle production rose by 36.5% 49,666 units, helping to reduce a backlog of orders for key domestic models.

The association confirmed that the domestic market remains strong, in spite of a small increase in interest rates last month. It said “market conditions continued to be favourable, and last month’s increase in output helped the industry keep up with demand”.

Passenger car sales underperformed slightly, with volumes rising by 15.1% to 46,229 units, while commercial vehicle sales were up by over 20% to 4,616 units.

Cumulative sales for the January-May period rose by 19.9% to 247,072 units, with passenger car sales up by 19% to 222,947 units and commercial vehicles rising by more than 28% to 24,125 units.

Tony Pugliese