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Malaysia’s automotive sector started the year on a strong note, as new car sales surged by 31 percent in January 2024 compared to the same period last year.

According to data released by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) a total of 65,499 vehicles were delivered to buyers in January, marking a significant increase from the 50,168 units reported in January 2023.

This positive start aligns well with the MAA’s 2024 Total Industry Volume (TIV) projection of 740,000 units.

Sales of passenger vehicles led the charge with a 35 percent growth year-on-year, with 59,394 units sold in January 2024 compared to 44,586 units in January 2023.

Commercial vehicle sales also contributed to the positive trend, climbing 10 percent year-on-year to reach 6,105 units, up from 5,582 units in the same period last year.

However, the figures showed a 16 percent reduction when compared to the robust sales reported in December 2023, attributed to the year-end rush of deliveries and enticing bargains.

According to the MAA, the decline in sales from December 2023 was influenced by companies accelerating the delivery of vehicles to address backlog orders, particularly those with financial years ending in December 2023. Additionally, year-end bargains played a role in boosting sales as consumers took advantage of attractive offers.

February 2024 Forecast

The MAA anticipates a dip in sales for February 2024 due to the shorter working month resulting from the Chinese New Year festive season. The association emphasised that this seasonal fluctuation is a typical trend observed in the automotive industry.

The strong performance in January follows a record-breaking year in 2023, where total sales increased by 11 percent to 799,731 units, solidifying Malaysia as Southeast Asia’s second-largest auto market behind Indonesia.

The robust sales were underpinned by a growing domestic economy, with private consumption rising by 4.2 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2023.

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