Vehicle sales to rise by small margin this year

Four-wheel drives and sports utility vehicles led the increase in vehicle sales last year, when it breached the 600,000-unit mark for the first time since 2016.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has forecast a 0.45% rise in total industry sales volume (TIV) from 604,287 vehicles last year to 607,000 this year.

The 2019 TIV had gone past the 600,000-unit mark for the first time since 2016, climbing 0.95% from 598,598 units in 2018.

The growth came from a 3.2% rise in the sale of passenger vehicles to 550,179 units. However, commercial vehicle sales declined by 17.4% to 54,108 units.

In the passenger vehicles sub-segments, four-wheel drive (4WD) or sports utility vehicles (SUV) saw a 64.8% increase to 124,560 units in 2019 against 75,598 units in 2018.

Sales of all other passenger vehicle sub-segments – passenger cars, window vans and multi-purpose vehicles (MPV) – saw a combined decline of 31,879 units compared to 2018.

However, over the past five years, the market share of passenger vehicles has continued to increase to 91% in 2019 from 88.7% in 2015. The market share for commercial vehicles declined to 9% last year from 11.3% in 2015.

The decline in commercial vehicles sales is attributed mainly to the slowdown in the economy and companies cutting back on capital expenditure.

Despite the flat trend, MAA sees positive TIV growth of 2% to 2.3% over the next four years.