KUALA LUMPUR, Dec. 11 — The number of cars and motorcycles sold in Malaysia during the first 10 months of this year ‘- which covered the movement control order (MCO) ‘- saw an overall drastic drop of almost 20 per cent and 13 per cent respectively when compared against the same period last year.
In a written parliamentary reply released Wednesday, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) said only 398,159 units of both passenger and commercial vehicles were sold from January to October this year.
This is a drop of 19.9 per cent or 98,696 units less compared to January-October last year when 496,855 units were sold.
The records cited were from the Malaysian Automotive Association’s (MAA).
In a more detailed breakdown, 42,867 cars were sold in January 2020. The sales dipped in February to 41,143 units and fell to half as much in March when 22,518 cars were sold.
Car sales hit rock bottom in April. Only 143 units were sold.
But car sales bounced back sharply in May to 23,318 units. The upwards climb continued in June with 44,704 units sold.
The best sales were recorded in July when 57,552 cars were sold.
Since July, it has stayed above 50,000 units until October.
The next best months for car salesmen were October with 56,670 units, followed by September (56,444 units) and August (52,800 units) sold.
January’s car sales had already seen a decrease by 5,583 units sold or -11.5 per cent when compared against January 2019, while February’s car sales represented a slight increase by 1,333 units or 3.3 per cent against February 2019, before showing a negative year-on-year trend for three months straight with a 32,258 unit drop or -58.9 per cent (March), a 49,792 unit drop or -99.7 per cent (April) and a 37,442 unit drop or -61.6 per cent (May).
Car sales in 2020 only started a positive trend year-on-year in June with an additional 2,118 units sold when compared against June 2019 ( 4.9 per cent increase), followed by a 6,698 unit increase in July ( 13.7 per cent), a 1,652 unit increase in August ( 3.2 per cent), a 11,778 unit increase in September ( 26.4 per cent), and a 2,800 unit increase in October ( 5.2 per cent).
While July and September represented the months with the biggest increase in car sales as compared to last year with a collective additional figure of almost 18,500, this still pales in comparison to the drastic year-on-year combined decline of almost 120,000 for the months of March to May, calculations based on the figures provided show.
This would help explain why the overall car sales in Malaysia for the January to October 2020 period are still 98,696 units lower when compared against the January to October 2019 period.
As for motorcycles, Miti said the total sales recorded by the Motorcycle & Scooter Assemblers and Distributors Association of Malaysia (Masaam) for January to October 2020 is 390,828 units, which is 59,863 units lower or a 13.3 per cent decline when compared against the 450,691 total units sold in the January to October 2019 period.
For 2020, motorcycle sales in Malaysia started out with 47,207 units sold in January, before climbing to 51,843 units in February, and then almost halving to 26,697 units sold in March.
What stood out for motorcycle sales in 2020, however, was the zero sales recorded in April.
Motorcycle sales then recovered to 19,507 units sold in May, and subsequently remained at more than 40,000 units each for June, July, August and then hitting 50,670 units sold in September and growing to the year’s highest monthly sales at 58,087 units in October.
For the year-to-year comparison with 2019, motorcycle sales in January 2020 was already down by 1,398 units or -2.9 per cent, but February sales was substantially higher by 14,889 units or 40.3 per cent higher than February 2019.
March sales then nosedived to be 20,460 units lower or -43.4 per cent year-on-year, and shrunk by 100 per cent against April 2019 when zero sales were recorded in April 2020, before recovering to be 27,629 units lower or -58.6 per cent year-on-year in May.
The year-on-year comparison for motorcycle sales turned positive in June with an increase by 8,305 units against June 2019 ( 24.5 per cent), but then became negative with a drop of 2,987 units sold or -5.9 per cent (July), a 1,543 unit less or -3.2 per cent (August), before outperforming the same month in 2019 with 7,343 additional units sold or 16.9 per cent (September) and 7,360 additional units sold or 14.6 per cent (October).
Again taking into account the collective drop of almost 120,000 units of motorcycles sold in March, April, May 2020 against the same months in 2019, the marginal outperformance year-on-year of the other months in 2020 are insufficient to make up for the decline, which explains why motorcycle sales in Malaysia as a whole up to October 2020 are still lesser than in the period of January to October 2019.
“The drastic decrease in the total sales of vehicles in the months of March, April, May 2020 compared to the same months in 2019 is due to the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) as a result of Covid-19 spreading globally and this has given an impact to the local automotive industry.
“However, the increase in the sales of vehicles can be seen starting from June 2020, following steps implemented by the government through the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) which gives 100 per cent exemption on sales and service tax on completely knocked down (CKD) vehicles and 50 per cent exemption on sales and service tax on completely built-up (CBU) vehicles,” the ministry said in its written parliamentary reply.
The ministry was responding to Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng’s request for the minister to state the number of new vehicles sold according to month in 2020 and its comparison to the figures recorded in the same months in 2019.
Malaysia had first entered the movement control order (MCO) on March 18 where all non-essential businesses had to close, with restrictions subsequently relaxed under the conditional movement control order (CMCO) imposed nationwide from May 4 with many economic activities allowed to resume.
Restrictions were further relaxed when Malaysia moved on to the recovery movement control order (RMCO) on June 10, with this order to last until December 31.
But amid the third wave of Covid-19 cases, the government again imposed CMCO in parts of the country from October, with some parts of the country to now be under CMCO until December 20 while the rest stayed under the RMCO.
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