Malaysia 2021 auto sales forecast revised down to 500k from 570k, sector can’t operate till NRP Phase 3

Malaysia 2021 auto sales forecast revised down to 500k from 570k, sector can’t operate till NRP Phase 3

The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has revised downwards its forecast for the 2021 total industry volume (TIV), which is the total sales of passenger and commercial vehicles in the country. The original 2021 TIV forecast announced early this year was 570,000 units – it’s now down to 500,000 units. The TIV for 2020 was 529,434 units.

This is due to the fact that the automotive sector has been effectively shut down in Malaysia from June 1 as part of the government’s lockdown measures to suppress Covid-19. Car factories and showrooms are not allowed to open in Phase 1 and 2 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP or PPN).

“MAA has decided to revise our forecast for the TIV 2021 after considering many factors, especially concerning an assumption on the government’s directive that automotive plants, distribution centres and sales showrooms would not be allowed to operate during Phase 1 and 2 and will only re-open in Phase 3 of the NRP,” MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said at the auto club’s 1H 2021 market review briefing today.

TIV for January to June 2021 vs 2020; revised 2021 TIV forecast vs original – click to enlarge

Some might have expected the revised total to be lower, given the current difficult conditions. However, MAA said that the global economy is expected to grow at the fastest post-recession pace in 80 years, led by major economies like the US. Locally, Malaysia is expected to record a positive GDP growth this year, albeit lower than the earlier 6% to 7.5% projection.

Also, the government had launched stimulus packages (Pemerkasa Plus is the latest edition) that included sales tax exemption for carbuyers, extended to the end of 2021. Bank Negara’s current and low overnight policy rate (OPR) of 1.75% means that hire purchase interest rates are also low. MAA also mentions less stringent vetting by banks for HP loans as the number of applications are down.

The introduction of new models and ongoing aggressive promotional campaigns by car companies to boost sales and maintain market share will also help entice customers.

On the flipside, MAA notes that consumer sentiment is expected to remain weak due to an uncertain economic environment, and apprehension about paycuts and layoffs. Businesses are also likely to hold back investments in view of the continuing uncertainties, and the current political environment also doesn’t help matters. There’s also uncertainty over the path of the pandemic, and the subsequent containment measures it might bring.

MAA’s 500k 2021 TIV forecast was made based on the government’s directive that automotive plants, distribution centres and showrooms are not be allowed to operate during Phase 1 and 2 of the NRP. The assumption is that the auto sector will restart in August – if this is not the case, the forecast will have to be revised again.

The most pressing problem for carmakers in Malaysia now is fulfilling orders, which are coming in. Aishah described the order bank as good. “Orders are coming in, people still want to buy. The issue is when we’ll be able to deliver with the plants closed and showrooms closed,” she said.

Looking to sell your car? Sell it with myTukar.


10% discount when you renew your car insurance

Compare prices between different insurer providers and use the promo code 'PAULTAN10' when you make your payment to save the most on your car insurance renewal compared to other competing services.

Car Insurance

Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.



  • 570k down to 500k? Ehh just a slight blip. If 200-300k then we’re talking about a crisis. 70k less is nothing lar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5
  • Izhar on Jul 22, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    The number is realistic since Selangor gov not closing factories. Full stop.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4
  • 4G63T DSM on Jul 22, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    Take MAAs numbers with a grain of salt.

    They have been overly optimistic in the past.

    It was MAA and that Madani fellow that proclaimed loudly once we will hit 700k TIV. It never did, and has been going down since. The outlook continues to look gloomy with a severe degradation of purchasing power and disposable income. Take out the pre-registered units from the TIV and the numbers look even bleaker.

    It will be a while before the TIV will go over 600k.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • Avenger on Jul 23, 2021 at 11:25 am

      Pre-pandemic we were heading towards those Madani figures tho. Perhaps timely we did not as our roads are beyond breaking point now, whatmore with 700k new cars yearly.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Cukup Rasa MCO on Jul 22, 2021 at 5:52 pm

    dont be surprised that the auto sales figure will drop like rock…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Add a comment