As predicted by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), November 2016 sales are slightly higher compared to October’s figures. Slightly is the key word here, as sales are up by 1,206 units or 2.5% higher than the preceding month. The auto industry sold 49,085 units in November.

The slightly improved performance was attributed to new model launches and what the automotive club described as very attractive offers and discounts by car companies. However, the year-to-date total industry volume (TIV), at 597,306 units, is some 13.7% lower than the same period last year.

As with last month, MAA is predicting slightly improved figures in December, as carmakers hold year-end sales promotions in an attempt to meet sales targets and clear 2015/2016 stocks. There’s also a possibility of customers buying forward in anticipation of a car price hike in 2017, which is feasible considering the forex situation our ringgit is in.

Last year saw a record high of 666,674 vehicles registered in Malaysia, and at the start of the year, MAA forecasted a 2.5% drop in TIV for 2016. With one month to go and 13.7% down YTD, this year’s total sales will see a significant drop from 2015’s heady total, no thanks to the sluggish economy and negative consumer sentiment. It’s the same story in the property market and car sales in Thailand.