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Malaysia - Auto Sales Rose in March 09
May 11, 2009

The Malaysian automobile industry registered positive growth in March 2009 due to release of new car models and lower car loan rates. 

As per the data released by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), the automobile sales grew one fifth to 44,205 Units in March 2009 from the 36,675 Units sold in the previous month (February 2009), as reported by The Star Online.

The automobile sales in the first three months of 2009 declined 9% to 118,681 Units in which passenger cars represented 107,593 Units and commercial vehicles 11,088 Units. However, the sales of pick-up trucks, prime movers and window vans increased in the range of 14.55% to 19.4%.

The total automobile sales remained 5% less in March 2009 as compared to the sales of 46,436 Units in March 2008. Among the biggest losers were the four-wheel drive/sport utility vehicles, multi-purpose vehicles and buses. Moreover, there was a minimum 27% decline in abovementioned vehicle sales during January-March 2009 against the same period last year. 

The upsurge registered in car sales in March can be accredited to several factors. Launch of new car models was quite successful to attract buyers coupled with the aggressive promotional campaigns by several leading domestic car manufacturers, including Perodua and Proton. In addition, lower interest rates brought car purchase within the reach of people. It’s noteworthy that a leading international car brand has recently slashed its car loan rates from 3.75% to 3.65%. 

Improvement in the sales of light commercial vehicles and higher number of working days in March also increased the sales figures. Besides, the gain can also be viewed as a consequence of seasonal uptrend. 

Industry experts were expecting for even better sales in April 2009 as compared to March 2009 in wake of the announcement of second stimulus package by the government. Under the stimulus package, discount of RM 5,000 ($1,372.12) is offered on trading in of cars at least ten years old for new Perodua or Proton cars. 

In the meantime, the MAA has projected that the total automobile volume for 2009 will climb to around 480,000 Units despite the difference of 9% in January-March 2009 against the corresponding period last year.

According to a Research Analyst at RNCOS, “After a dull performance displayed by the automobile sales in February 2009, the figures of Malaysian automobile industry in March were appreciable. Moreover, the industry is expected to witness even better sales figures this month as the government initiatives proving effective.”

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