Malaysia's vehicle market recovery accelerated in November with new registrations rising by 21.3% to 43,783 units, according to the Malaysian Automotive Association. Sales activity was boosted by seasonal factors, rising consumer confidence and the launch of important new models earlier in the year.

During the month, new passenger car registrations grew by 22.8% to 40,053 units, while commercial vehicle sales increased by 6.8% to 3,491 units. In particular, the launch of the Proton Persona - a popular sub-compact car - contributed significantly to the sales rise.
The sharp decline in the first half of the year means that 2007 will likely be at best a flat year for new sales, however. Cumulatively, new registrations fell by 2% in the first eleven months to 444,932 units, compared with 454,160 a year earlier. December sales will likely see higher volumes year-on-year, but the month is traditionally a weak one for sales - with customers preferring to wait until the new year to register their vehicles.

The MAA also reported that vehicle production fell sharply in the January-November period to 409,113 units, compared with 473,463 units a year earlier. This is a decline of 13.6% year-on-year and represents a significant underperformance on the part of domestic models.

Tony Pugliese