Right, it’s time for our annual full-year vehicle sales performance report. The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has finally released complete sales data for 2016, and as expected, higher prices as a result of an unfavourable foreign exchange and tightening hire purchase loan approvals has tempered market sentiment, resulting in a significantly lower Total Industry Volume (TIV) than in 2015.

Last year’s figure sits at 580,124 units, down 13% or 86,553 units from the record-breaking 666,677 units the year before. The association says that the decline follows six years of consecutive growth, and that it’s the first time the TIV has dipped below the 600,000 unit mark since 2009.

Naturally, the sales dip means that it has been a tough year for most of the automotive industry, particularly for the mainstream brands. However, a few players did make some gains in terms of market share, while premium brands have demonstrated a surprisingly strong showing.

At the top of the pile, of course, sits Perodua – buoyed by the launch of the new Bezza sedan, the second national carmaker managed to keep itself above the 200,000 unit mark despite sales being down 3.9% down 2015’s record 213,307 units, at 207,110 units. More importantly, the company’s market share has grown from 32% to 35.7%, its highest ever.

Surprise, surprise, the second most popular brand in Malaysia is Honda, even though sales have slid 3.2% from 94,902 units to 91,830 units. Its market share has also climbed from 14.2% to 15.8%; overall, it’s an impressive result from the Japanese carmaker, which launched the Civic and facelifted Accord last year.

Honda’s sales success came at the expense of Proton, which slid from its customary second place in spite of launching four new models last year. Sales have dropped a staggering 29.2% from 102,174 units to 72,290 units, while its market share has also fallen from 15.3% to 12.5%.

But Proton’s slump has nothing on Toyota’s – previously neck-and-neck with Honda, its sales have dropped by a massive 32% to 63,757 units, while its market share has dropped from 14.1% to just 11.0%. While it still leads the commercial vehicle sector, the company delivered just 19,171 units last year, down from 28,465 units; its CV market share has also shrunk from 37.8% to 29.2% – even after the launch of the new Hilux.

Nissan retains its perennial fifth spot – although sales have fallen 13.8% to 40,706 units, it keeps its market share at 7%. The company is also third in commercial market with a share of 11.4%. Meanwhile, Isuzu had a good year, with sales climbing 1.3% to 12,818 units and its market share rising from 1.9% to 2.2%; it also keeps its second spot in the commercial vehicle market, with a market share of 19.1%, up from 16.2%.

In seventh sits Mazda, sales of which have fallen 12.8% from 14,325 units to 12,493 units; its market share stays nearly identical at 2.2%. In the premium sector, Mercedes-Benz blew through 2016 with a massive product blitz, reflected by a record-breaking 12,017 units in sales, up 8.9% from 11,034 units in 2015. Its market share has also increased from 1.7% to 2.1%, making it the eighth most popular brand in Malaysia.

Sales performance in the passenger (left) and commercial (right) vehicle sectors. Click to enlarge

The three-pointed star’s sterling performance was more than enough to deny BMW of the premium market crown on its centenary. Even so, Munich scored a record year for itself by selling a round 9,000 units, up 19.8% from 7,515 units in 2015; its 1.6% market share (up from 1.1% the year before) means that it rounds off the top 10 in the popularity stakes.

Elsewhere, it’s been a good year for Subaru (up 52.5% to 3,873 units), Volvo (up 55.4% to 934 units) and Renault (up 25.3% to 599 units), while Ford (down 34% to 8,001 units), Peugeot (down 42.7% to 1,710 units) and Lexus (down 35.6% to 1,353 units) have seen their sales nosedive considerably.

Click on the table below to view an enlarged version.