This year’s car sales not as bad as expected

Proton saw impressive increases in sales this year following the release of new models.

PETALING JAYA: Sales records appear to have defied speculation that the economic slowdown would cause a noticeable dent this year on the market for cars.

A total of 404,119 passenger vehicles were sold between between January and September, only 822 less than the number sold in the same period last year.

The difference could have been smaller if there wasn’t a boost in sales between June and August last year, which Malaysian Automotive Association president Aisyah Ahmad attributed to the abolition of the goods and services tax following Pakatan Harapan’s takeover of the government.

“The tax holiday spurred people to buy vehicles,” she told FMT.

This year, Proton and Perodua saw impressive increases in sales following the release of new models.

“The launching of new models like the Proton X70 and other other models from Perodua, along with competitive pricing, boosted their sales figures,” Aisyah said.

By the third quarter of this year, Proton had sold 42% more cars than it did in the same period last year. Perodua achieved a 6% increase.

However, foreign brands like Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Volkswagen, Kia, Subaru and Hyundai experienced dips in their sales.

Aisyah predicted that the economic situation would cause a slowdown in overall sales in the coming months.

However, the National Automotive Policy that is due to be announced next month may include additional incentives for Next Generation Vehicles (NxGV).

Aisyah said she hoped it would provide clarity and better incentives for NxGV development.

Several industry players said in recent press interviews that they hoped the government would announce incentives to encourage increased investment in the local automotive industry.

BMW Managing Director Harald Hoezl, for example, said more needed to be done to improve the infrastructure that would support electric vehicles.