The see-saw continues. The Malaysian automotive industry – which had a good showing in March following a sluggish February – had a slow April, according to vehicle sales data supplied by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).

Last month saw 42,746 units being registered, a decline of 10,971 units or 20.4% from March 2017 (53,717 units). Year-on-year, it’s just ahead of the corresponding period in March 2016, by 544 units. Still, the year-to-date sales of 183,586 units for 2017 is ahead by 10,133 units, or nearly 6%, over the same four month period last year.

The MAA suggests that the slow sales was a result of a combination of factors. These includes a rush for deliveries by companies having a financial year ending March 31 as well as changes in the SUV/4×4 excise duty structure, which was later reversed to its original rate. More stringent hire purchase loan approvals also played a part in the slowdown.

The association expects sales in May to continue at the same level as that last month, saying consumers are expected to continue facing difficulties in getting hire purchase loans approved.