The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has released vehicle sales data for the month of May 2020, and after April, a month in which only 141 cars were sold due to the movement control order (MCO) halting all vehicular-related business, it’s no surprise to see the numbers for May resulting in a whopping increase in percentage.

Sales in May amounted to 22,960 units, an increase of 22,819 units or 16,183% from the aforementioned 141 units managed in April. It sounds dramatic, but that’s the only gloss, because the reality is that things are far from ideal – the May 2020 volume is 62% lower than the 60,760 units managed during the same period in 2019, reflecting what an impact Covid-19 and the MCO has had on vehicle sales this year.

This is further reflected in the year-to-date numbers, the 129,561 units managed so far in the first five months of this year nearly half (49%) of that accomplished last year, where 253,731 units had been shifted during the corresponding period.

The association said that the low numbers for May was due to the road transport department (JPJ) only resuming new passenger car registrations on May 13, resulting in a short month for the process. It said that consumer response was soft as well, with many people still not willing to go out or remaining cautious in their spending.

It expects the sales volume in June to be higher in May as a result of the sales tax (SST) holiday until the end of the year as announced by the government on June 5. The tax holiday will see a 100% sales tax exemption on locally-assembled (CKD) models and 50% on fully-imported (CBU) models until December 31, 2020.