After a sorry April, in which only 141 cars were sold due to the movement control order (MCO), which effectively brought vehicle sales to a halt, things improved considerably in May as car companies resumed business.

A total of 22,960 units were shifted last month, representing an increase of 22,819 units or 16,183% from April. The numbers for the month are slightly ahead of that from March, where 22,478 cars were sold before the MCO kicked in.

While it’s a far cry from the 60,760 units managed during the same month last year, the sales tax (SST) holiday until the end of the year as announced by the government on June 5 should help spur movement. Until December 31, 2020, all new passenger cars sold in Malaysia will enjoy a 100% sales tax exemption for locally-assembled (CKD) models and 50% reduction for fully-imported (CBU) models.

In terms of specifics for the month, market leader Perodua continued to lead the way, selling 7,886 units in May. Proton ran close behind, with 5,676 units sold. Of course, in overall terms Perodua remains clearly ahead, its 52,920 units almost double that of Proton’s 27,455 units so far this year.

Meanwhile, Toyota shifted 3,425 vehicles in May, well in front of Honda, which managed 2,678 units. The fight for third-place in the overall standings is very close at present, with just 48 units separating the two Japanese automakers as we approach the mid-year mark – Toyota is now ahead at 13,853 units, with Honda at 13,805.

As shown by the field of green arrows in the table, every car company managed to improve on things from the previous month, with Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Isuzu, Ford and Volkswagen all achieving three-digit sales figures in May.

As has been the case for a while now, BMW, MINI and Mercedes-Benz numbers read zero for the month, and that’s because the companies have switched to a quarterly reporting of their sales numbers. From Q1 numbers, BMW is ahead at 1,600 units, with Mercedes at 1,342 units. Interestingly, Subaru reported zero sales in May – we’ve reached out to the company as to the reasons why.

Click to enlarge.