Data includes commercial vehicles. Source: Malaysian Automotive Association

New vehicle sales in Malaysia started 2013 well with a 34.5% increase in Total Industry Volume (TIV) compared to the numbers in the same month in 2012. This translated to a volume of 55,066 units, of which 48,720 units were passenger vehicles (excluding pick-ups).

The increase is not unexpected though as the first month of each year usually sees many customers would have delayed registration in order to get it in the new year, rather than during the final month of the old year.

According to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), which compiles the data for industry and public knowledge, consumer sentiment has also been positive, contributing to the higher sales. And with aggressive promotional campaigns prior to the Chinese New Year season, there were also more incentives to buy a new vehicle.

However, industry executives also note that the pending general elections are a distraction for some customers. Some are hopeful that promises by certain parties of reducing taxes on vehicles will come true after the elections and prefer to wait and see what happens. “I just wish the elections would be done with so we can get on with our business normally,” remarked the CEO of a leading car company recently.

February is a shorter month and this year, it has even less working days because of the Chinese New Year. So the MAA expects that the TIV will be lower for the month (last year, however, the sales increased month-on-month).

[by Chips Yap]

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