After a slight delay, here are the vehicle sales figures for January 2020, released by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA). The first set of monthly figures for the new year saw a total of 42,623 units delivered, which is 12.03% lower year-on-year. It is also 12,219 units – or 22.2% – less than the 54,842 units recorded in December 2019.

The drop from December to January is expected, and MAA says that it was due to the short working month brought about by the Chinese New Year festive holidays, as well as market uncertainty following the announcement of the implementation of new excise duty regulations, which has since been neutralised (as far as sticker prices for consumers are concerned) for this year.

For the month of February, the umbrella association for car companies expects that despite the shorter month, sales volume would be slightly better than January, now that issues pertaining to CKD vehicle excise duty valuation have been resolved. Let’s take a look at who did what.

At the head of the pack are national makes Perodua and Proton, ahead of Honda, Toyota and Nissan. This top five order is unchanged from 2019’s final table, which saw a rejuvenated Proton overtake Honda to take the runners-up spot. Honda remains the top non-national brand ahead of its Japanese peers.

Perodua did 17,481 units in January, which is 4.8% less than what it sold in the final month of 2019. Still, that’s more than double what Proton sold (8,506), which was 23.5% down on Dec 2019 figures. The Japanese big three of Honda (-16.2%), Toyota (-54.7%) and Nissan (-35.5%) also saw sales dive, but as mentioned, this trend is expected.

There were some gainers though, and those who saw green in January include Mazda (+22.1%), Hyundai (+92.4%), Subaru (+44.9%) and Peugeot (+14.8%). Most of that would have been from clearance sales of 2019 stocks. In the premium sector, Mercedes-Benz (-45.6%), Volvo (-26.6%) and Lexus (-62.8%) all suffered from hangovers from the year end party.

If you’re wondering why there’s no BMW and MINI in the list, it’s because the two brands are following Munich’s global directive to only report numbers on a quarterly basis. This means that we’ll get to put BMW and Mercedes-Benz figures side-by-side only once every quarter. Truck maker Scania will also be doing quarterly figures from now.