The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has released vehicle sales date for the month of December 2020, and strong numbers were expectedly recorded in a final flurry in anticipation of the sales tax (SST) exemption ending at the end of the month, which of course it didn’t.

A total of 68,836 units were delivered in the final month, which was 12,347 units or 21.8% more than the 56,489 units sold in November. The month’s sales were also significantly better than the corresponding period last year, in which 54,842 units were shifted. This makes December 2020’s numbers higher than 2019’s by 13,994 units, or a 25.5% improvement.

However, total industry volume (TIV) for 2020 fell far short of that accomplished in 2019. The total for 2020 stood at 529,434 units, which is 74,847 units less than the 604,281 units managed in the same period last year. A point to note is that the listed monthly TIV numbers, when added, fall a little short of the overall published TIV, and this is because of some members not reporting monthly figures, which are included in the final annual TIV numbers.

The association attributed the strong sales performance in December to customers making purchases ahead of the anticipated end to the SST on December 31. On December 29, the government announced that the SST exemption would be extended to June 30 this year, after initially saying no the previous week.

The association is projecting that the sales volume in January will be lower than last month, with the month being impacted by the implementation of the second movement control order (MCO) in a number of states.