Malaysia's car sales continued to decline in September, with new sales falling 15.2% to 42,884 units from 50,542 units in the same month last year, according to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).

Auto sales dropped for the eighth straight month in September, with sales dipping 9.1% or 4,305 units from the previous month.

Analysts told Asia Pulse that low used car value, tighter loan procedures, rising inflation and weak consumer sentiment have caused domestic car sales to drop.

In a statement, MAA said passenger cars accounted for 31,178 units of the total sales volume in September. The remaining 11,706 units were commercial vehicles, including SUVs.

National marques accounted for 27,920 units of the total volume in September, lower than 31,921 units in the same month last year. Non-national makes fell to 14,964 units from 18,621 units previously.

Total sales during the first nine months of this year amounted to 382,403 units compared with 408,349 units in the corresponding period in 2005.

Cumulative production for January-September 2006 was 399,351 units against 424,884 units in the corresponding period last year, with national makes accounting for 275,129 units, down from 290,241 units previously.

MAA told Asia Pulse sales for October are expected to be lower than September due to the short working month with the festive holidays.

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