Vehicle sales performance in Malaysia for 2020: better than expected despite Covid-19, 12.4% down fr 2019

Vehicle sales performance in Malaysia for 2020: better than expected despite Covid-19, 12.4% down fr 2019

The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has released the overall sales and production figures for 2020, showing a total industry volume (TIV) of 529,434 vehicles last year. Compared to the 604,281-unit TIV of 2019, this represented a 12.4% drop, which the association considered a good achievement in light of the “extremely challenging business environment” brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This achievement was higher than what was expected by the MAA, which had forecast a volume of 470,000 units for 2020. The second half of last year saw a boost in demand and sales, thanks to the sales tax exemption that commenced June 15, 2020 as part of the Penjana stimulus package, and which was initially slated to conclude on December 31 of last year. This has since been extended to June 30, 2021.

The decrease in volume was mitigated in particular by a stronger-than-expected performance in the fourth quarter of 2020, with the monthly TIV reaching its highest point in December with 68,836 units sold in the final month. The exceptionally high volume was attributed to buyer anticipation that the sales tax exemption for passenger vehicles would end on December 31; the extension for this was announced just two days prior.

The drop in production volume has mainly been attributed to the enforcement of the movement control order which took effect on March 18, 2020, along with the lower overall sales volume last year. The industry lost more than two months of vehicle production in 2020, said the MAA; vehicle sales in April saw a drop of nearly 100%.

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On a year-on-year basis, monthly vehicle sales and production began 2020 slightly under 2019 in January, then taking a marginal lead in February. The subsequent, MCO-enforced nosedive and rebound through March, April and May were followed by the retaking of the lead in June with a 94.7% regain that month, followed by a consistent margin each month over 2019 buoyed by the sales tax exemption incentive introduced in June.

From the 529,434-unit TIV recorded for 2020, the passenger vehicles segment saw a decline by 69,212 units, or 12.6%, while the commercial vehicles segment saw a drop of 5,635 units or 10.4% over the same period. Production in 2020 followed the downward trend, with a decrease of 86,446 units or 15% sustained to reach a total of 485,186 units produced, compared to 571,632 units made in 2019.

Passenger vehicle sales made up 480,965 units out of the 529,434-unit TIV for 2020, or 90.8%. Of these, the 353,312 units of passenger cars sold saw a drop of 27,473%, or 7.2% from 2019, while 4X4s and SUVs (93,364 units) sustained a drop of 32,428 units, or 25.8%. MPVs (33,275 units) saw a reduction of 7,326 units or 18%, and window vans (1,014 units) saw the largest percentage drop with 1,985 units, or 66.2% compared to 2019.

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Commercial vehicle sales made up 48,469 units out of the 529,434-unit TIV for 2020, or 9.2%. Of these, 33,730 pick-up trucks were sold in 2020, down 1,391 units or 4.0% from 2019, with trucks recording 10,665 units (down 2,403 units, or 18.4%), panel vans with 2,924 units (down 576 units/16.5%), prime movers with 875 units (down 895 units/50.6%) and buses with 275 units (down 370 units/57.4%).

In terms or production, passenger vehicles made up 457,755 units, or 94.3% of the 485,186-unit TIP for 2020. Of these, passenger cars charted 342,300 units, down 48,680 units or 12.5% from 2019, while 4X4s and SUVs (87,674 units made) saw a drop of 22,806 units, or 20.6%. MPVs (27,021 units) sustained a reduction of 3,420 units or 11.2%, while window vans (760 units) saw a reduction of 1,454 units or 65.7%.

Over to commercial vehicle production, commercial vehicles made up 27,431 units, or 5.7% of the 2020 TIP. Of these, pick-up trucks comprised 15,785 units, down 3,118 units or 16.5% from 2019. Trucks charted 8,575 units (down 5,214 units, or 37.8%), while panel vans (2,184 units) dropped 1,004 units, or 31.5%. Prime movers charted 669 units (down 264 units/28.3%), and buses with 218 units (down 486 units/69.0%).

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Mick Chan

Open roads and closed circuits hold great allure for Mick Chan. Driving heaven to him is exercising a playful chassis on twisty paths; prizes ergonomics and involvement over gadgetry. Spent three years at a motoring newspaper and short stint with a magazine prior to joining this website.



  • 25yrsOld on Jan 26, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) supposed to responsible reduced car prices and taxes … So easy job, taxpayers paid hundred millions every year to them just to show car sales and %…. Nenek aq pon tau.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5
    • YB Albert on Jan 27, 2021 at 10:23 am

      Mr 25 yr old,MAA is only an association,gathering production and sales data on a monthly basis.
      They dont reduce car taxes or distributors prices.
      Gomen kutip at least Rm10 Billion annually from car taxes.
      So,do you know who or any vvip who can reduce prices?
      If one cannot afford brand new cars which is priced above the roof,then one should opt for preowned say 3-5 year old cars.
      Have u heard the saying..”wear the correct size of the hat according to the size of your head?”Do u need science that send Armstrong to the moon?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1
  • Civic Turbo 2018 on Jan 26, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    Who says Malaysia economy weak?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5
    • sam123 on Jan 26, 2021 at 10:52 pm

      YB2 kna perlu tengok suasana di LHDN Johor Bahru. Jgn senang2 sembang nak PKP tapi SOP dorang sendri xjaga. Orang ramai beratur untuk memohon Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat.. Tersentuh hati saya bila nampak orang ramai, tua miskin dan ibu bawa anak2 kecil tahan panas beratur untuk hantar borang BPR… Keadaan ni menunjukkan bahwa betapa susahnya ekonomi rakyat Malaysia buat sekarang ni. xde kerja xmakanan. Semoga semua dipermudahkan urusan..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2
      • Rakyat Malaysia on Jan 27, 2021 at 12:30 pm

        Many have confidence in how things are being run. Well done!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1
    • Cik Mel Ayu Ratu Segara Masin on Jan 27, 2021 at 4:19 pm

      tenkiu you consumers. car sale promoter association waiting fat fat bonus month end

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • Everyman on Jan 27, 2021 at 6:43 am

    People who used to take public transport suddenly wanted to switch to driving own vehicles in order to avoid getting infected on trains & buses…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • azrai on Jan 27, 2021 at 7:44 am

    The increase artificially boost by the SST rebate and super low interest rate. Is it sustainable? And yes, there are people who want to save RM3k by buying RM80k car (minus the bank interest). In the mean time, there are more and more people want to discard their ride because of salary reduction and retrenchment. This is only one face of the coin, how about the other half.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0
    • Melania Rosmah on Jan 27, 2021 at 10:35 am

      Your Excellency Azrai,MAA can report even 700,000 annual sales data. Thats not important.
      Whats crucial is the 700,000 dont default or even go into bankruptcy.
      The reality is there isnt much reporting on defaulting hp car owners.Only the credit companies and banks know the tarik keta rate.
      We dont deny that there are a sizable population who can afford new cars.However,there r those who live from one paycheck to the next,on various hp commitments.These are t

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  • Sam Loei on Jan 27, 2021 at 9:03 am

    just remember. the T20 group and also the upper M40 group make up 40% of total population of malaysia. to put in an easier prospect of view – it translates to about 6.5 million ppl out of 32 mil total.

    these ppl still have the capabilities to make car purchases. on top of that there are stiĺl about 1.6 million government servant whom are most probably not affected by the pandemic in terms of salary pay. similar to those working in banks… or doctors.

    the issues we have now involve those in the mid to low M40 and maybe micro and SME businessmen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4
    • azrai on Jan 27, 2021 at 9:17 am

      T20 + M40 = 60% Malaysian population.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5
      • Rakyat Malaysia on Jan 27, 2021 at 12:28 pm

        Basher once said B40 represents 60% of rakyat so plus plus together we have 120% of citizen right?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
        • Dr Strange on Jan 27, 2021 at 5:10 pm

          People’s lives and livelihoods are badly affected while the economy fared worst, due to govt allowed spouses to travel during Covid-19 pandemic.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2
          • Globally no country and no one is spared the effects of covid. But among the many, Malaysia is commended by world leaders for being among the best at coping and balancing against covid until some leaders are learning from our experience. Countries that previously criticised our total lockdown now are doing it themselves.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6
          • Malaysia leaders specially commended for allowing those returning from Sabah do not have to be quarantined. So kudos gomen perihatin.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
          • Even after MCO 2.0 + emergency proclamation MITI and MOF stress our economy is still good as the same with 6.5% GDP for 2021 undisturbed. How. Even makcik kantin and school bus operator have zero income.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
          • Which country criticised our total lockdown?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
          • Copy Paste on Jan 28, 2021 at 12:33 pm

            Copy paste: “Who says rakyat miskin and menderita? Car sales figure jumped up.”

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
      • Sam Loei on Jan 27, 2021 at 1:42 pm

        do you know what does it mean by upper M40? that means the upper half or 20 only. T20+(M40÷2) = 40%

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3
        • izhar on Jan 28, 2021 at 7:48 am

          Upper M40 can be
          A.If divided by two 20%,B.If divided by three 13.3% C.If divided by four 10%

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  • Botani Boy on Jan 27, 2021 at 9:14 am

    Malaysia economy terhebat and steady. Other countries see downtrend of car sales…..but Malaysia see rise of car sales. Record breaking! Rakyat surely rich.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • Justice on Jan 27, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    breakdown of sales data by brand and models please…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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