Vehicle sales in Malaysia grew by 2.8% year-on-year in August to 48,538 units, compared with 47,227 units a year earlier, according to data released by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).

Compared with the previous month’s 51,928 units, August sales were 6.5% lower, contrary to expectations of a rise ahead of the annual Idul Fitri holidays. The month-on-month decline reflected ongoing consumer caution as economic uncertainty lingered despite a strong recovery in the country’s equity markets.

Sales of passenger cars also fell by 6.5% month-on-month to 44,099 units.

Cumulative vehicle sales for the January-August remained negative, with volumes falling by 7.3% to 351,550 units compared with 379,184 units a year earlier.

Vehicle production in August fell by 4% to 44,476 units, compared with 46,316 in August 2008, bringing the cumulative total to 321,391 units – down by 11% year-on-year from 361,069 units.

Tony Pugliese