The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has revised it’s forecast for vehicle sales this year, lowering it to 520,000 units instead of the previous 565,000 units figure. The new forecost would mean a 6% drop from last year’s 551,042 cars sold instead of a 2.5% increase with the previous figure. It’s not just Malaysia who is facing this problem, even Philippines and Thailand had experienced dropping sales in the first half of 2006 compared to the same period last year. The Indonesian car industry took a big hit, with a 49% drop in sales volume, likely to do with the new fuel prices there.

Perodua sold 78,396 cars compared to Proton which mnaged 60,246. Perodua’s market share now stands at 42.4 percent, while Proton is at 32.6 percent. It looks like UMW is the juggernaut right now, commanding a total of 49.7 percent of passenger vehicle sales through Perodua and Toyota. Almost half! One of Proton’s Key Performance Indicators for the financial year ending March 2007 is a 46% market share, but this does not look like it’s likely to happen very soon. While the overall industry is experiencing a drop, 4WD vehicles experienced a growth by 2.2 percent. Proton does not have a 4WD vehicle for sale, while Perodua has it’s Kembara.

There also have been concerns on Proton’s stockpile of cars which are said to be piling high without enough sales to move them. Proton says that it will maintain it’s production target of 40,000 to 50,000 cars a year out of a maximum capacity of 150,000 units on double shifts. Proton director of manufacturing Datuk Kamarulzaman Darus believes that the current production volume would be justified on the continued demand for Proton cars.

Proton also says a new model is in the line-ups to be introduced next year, although the model is still in discussion stages. No details have been revealed except that it is not an SUV model. From discussion to introduction in about the time span of a year? Datuk Kamarulzaman also says Proton cannot reveal any details yet before gaining approval from partners, so this should be a joint-venture for an MPV or a large executive car considering the mention of partners and a fast time to market.