What’s in store for the automotive industry?

April sales volume was minimal, a 99% drop compared with last year. (Pixabay pic)

The local automotive industry has taken a huge hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Movement Control Order and Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) meant that the entire country had to stay home and non-essential businesses were closed, which also included vehicle showrooms.

Total industry volume (TIV) fell to 106,248 units, or 25.61%, from 143,064 units last year. The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) also lowered its 2020 sales target to 400,000 units from 607,000.

According to an MAA report, April sales volume was minimal, 99% lower than the same month last year. Sales volume was also more than 99% lower compared with March this year because all automotive operations stopped until May 12, as the automotive sector was not ranked under the essential sectors.

Malaysia car sales by brand in the first quarter

Most car companies recorded lower sales in the first quarter of the year compared with 1Q2019.

  • Perodua’s sales reduced 25.85% to 44,977 units. But its market share dropped only a 10th of a percentage point to 42.3%.
  • saw an unexpected rise in sales, almost 20%, to 21,757 from 18,281 units last year, and its market share rose to 20.4% from 12.8%.
  • Honda came in third, despite sales being almost half a percent lower than last year. Its market share was 10.4% lower than in 2019.
  • Toyota also recorded a 24.1% decline with only 10,415 units sold, despite its market share rising to 9.8%.
  • Nissan came in fifth place with 2,474 units with overall sales falling 46.83% compared with 5,166 last year.
The automotive industry will need a huge boost from the government. (Pixabay pic)

What to expect after the CMCO is lifted

MAA President, Aishah Ahmad told CarSifu, The Star, a proposal on the measures for the automotive industry to be taken post-MCO had been submitted to the government.

“We have submitted a proposal to both MOF [Ministry of Finance] and Miti [Ministry of International Trade and Industry]. Among the measures proposed are easier hire purchase approvals and lower taxes or duties for at least until the end of this year. We have also requested for the calculation of the open market value of a vehicle to be reverted to the previous formula so that the duties imposed for locally assembled cars do not increase,” she told CarSifu.

She added that TIV will drop but the quantum will depend on when the MCO is lifted and if the government provides stimulus for the car industry.

Federation of Motor and Credit Companies Association of Malaysia (FMCCAM) president Tony Khor told The Star the used car market is expected to rise because the economic downside will result in people being cautious and buying more used cars because they are cheaper.

“As nobody knows how long it will take for the economy to recover, many people who are looking to buy a vehicle will likely resort to a used one as they are more economical,” he told The Star.


The country’s automotive industry will need a huge boost from the government to rise again.

Sales will drop significantly due to people losing jobs and their source of income, thus preventing them from spending on personal transport.

But, with the hire purchase moratorium from the government and banking institutions, the industry can expect a slight increase in sales, but it will take longer for consumers to regain their buying power.

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