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At the Malaysian Automotive Association’s (MAA) market review and conference for the first half of 2015, it was revealed that sales of hybrid passenger vehicles in Malaysia have fallen by a total of 44.5% compared to the same period in 2014. Premium marques like Audi, BMW and Lexus suffered the biggest hits with Audi charting zero sales as opposed to a total of 90 units in 2014.

Likewise, BMW failed to sell a single hybrid unit while Lexus managed to move only seven hybrid cars, a 93-unit loss from the 100 it sold in 2014. Curiously, hybrid sales figures for another German heavyweight, Mercedes-Benz, were not disclosed at the briefing.

As for Japanese brands, Honda registered the largest drop in hybrid vehicle sales – the brand moved only two hybrid vehicles in the first half of 2015 compared to a total of 4,235 units in 2014. When queried, MAA president, Datuk Aishah Ahmad, clarified that the steep drop can be attributed to the removal of tax incentives for CBU hybrid vehicles – only CKD hybrid vehicles stand to enjoy the benefits now.

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On a more positive note, Nissan and Toyota saw sales of its hybrid models soar with the former recording an increase of 249 units while the latter, 1,494 units – a figure undoubtedly buoyed by the 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid. All in all, total hybrid vehicle sales for the first half of 2015 were recorded at 3,333 units compared to 2014’s total of 6,007 units in the same period – an overall slump of 2,674 units.

Sales figures for electric vehicles (EVs), on the other hand, fared marginally better. Total vehicle sales were recorded at 32 units for the first half of 2015 compared to 24 and 17 units from 2014 and 2013, respectively. However, the overall figures do not necessarily represent an improvement for the whole segment as only Renault saw a steady increase throughout the years.

From Jan to June 2015, Renault sold a total of 26 EVs, up from 13 the year before and a measly two from 2013 – a figure probably achieved via the introduction of its Twizy and Zoe models. Order books for the French duo were opened in April this year with estimated prices beginning at RM70k for the Twizy and RM140k for the Zoe – figures which bettered the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (RM136k) and Nissan Leaf (RM169k).