Now that the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has released vehicle sales data for the month of June 2020, we can now take a look at how the overall industry performed during the first half of the year. Suffice to say, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) have certainly been well and truly felt.

Getting right into the figures, the total industry volume for the first six months of 2020 stood at 174,675 units, with 158,876 units being passenger vehicles and the remainder made up of commercial vehicles.

By comparison, the same period in 2019 saw 296,317 registrations, so we’re witnessing a decline of 121,642 units, or 41.1%. This drop affected both passenger and commercial vehicles, as you’d expect, with the former seeing a larger percentage in terms of volume reduction by 111,985 units or 41.3%.

On a month to month basis, we see just how much of an impression the MCO, which resulted in car companies being unable to conduct business, had on vehicle sales. Prior to the start of the MCO, the MAA recorded 42,867 units sold in January and 41,143 units in February, representing an 11.5% decrease and 3.3% increase respectively when compared to the same months last year.

With the MCO coming into effect in March, vehicle sales took a big hit, with just 22,518 units delivered, which is 32,258 units or 58.9% less than in 2019. This trend would get even more dire the following month, as only 143 cars were delivered in April, or 99.7% less than the same month last year.

The start of the conditional MCO (CMCO) saw the industry begin to pick itself up again, as it was back to a five-digit figure in May with 23,309 units sold. However, the number is still 61.6% less than what it was during the same month in 2019, but it is a whopping 16,200% better than April 2020.

As for the month of June 2020, a total of 44,695 units were delivered during the month, which was an encouraging figure as it was 5% more than the same month last year. The boost can be attributed to efforts by the government to encourage car buying, particularly the reduction of sales tax for locally-imported (CKD) and fully-imported (CBU) models.