Sales of passenger and commercial vehicles in Malaysia soared last year to achieve a record high of 627,753 units, said the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).
The sales exceed the previous record of 605,156 units in 2010, and outperformed an industry forecast of 615,000 units.
MAA today forecasted a further increase to 640,000 units in 2013 owing to the introduction of a large number of 200 new models and aggressive promotional campaigns by car companies.
“2012 had indeed been a very challenging year for the local automotive industry,” said MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad here.
“Despite these challenges, the local automotive industry had performed very well.”
Aishah highlighted the massive Thai floods in 2011 and implementation of Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) responsible financing practices guidelines as having a major impact on the industry last year.
Total registration of passenger vehicles such as cars, multi-purpose vehicles (MPV) and sports utility vehicles (SUV) in 2012 was 552,189 units or 88 per cent of the total industry volume (TIV).
Commercial vehicles like pick-ups, trucks and buses reached a total of 75,564 units, or 12 per cent of the TIV.
Compared to 2011, sales in 2012 shot up 4.6 per cent from 600,123 units. Passenger vehicles sales grew by 3.2 per cent, while commercial vehicles sales grew by 16.2 per cent.
MAA attributed the record performance in 2012 to a strong economic growth, especially thanks to a number of projects under the government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) which increased consumer and business confidence.
There was also the introduction of several new models at competitive prices, and Aishah agreed that the buying trend for cars in the middle price range will continue in the next few years.
“What we find is ... consumers are more at the middle income level,” Aishah said, pointing out to increasing market share of Toyota and Nissan.
The association will also lobby for continued incentives for hybrid and electric cars, considering an increase of sales around 84 per cent last year.
MAA also expressed concern over the low quality diesel supplied in Malaysia, which is stopping new models to be introduced in the country.
Malaysia has been granting import and excise duty exemption for hybrid and electric vehicles starting from Budget 2011.
The government subsidises diesel and petrol fuel sale in Malaysia as part of its RM42 billion annual subsidy.
(Source: The Malaysian Insider)