After months of pent-up demand and backlog, Malaysia’s auto sales is on a strong rebound, led by market leader Perodua. If the August 2021 headline was “over 10x more cars than July”, September’s big shout is a 102% jump. Last month, P2 deliveries improved for the third consecutive month, up 102% to 14,160 units from 6,988 units in August.

“The automotive supply chain has shown improvements but have yet to reach their full potential. We are continuously working with our suppliers and dealers to further improve productivity and safety,” said Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad.

The year-to-date total for the first nine months of 2021 is 119,093 units, a fair bit lower than the 145,012 units achieved in the same period last year. When comparing the second quarter of 2021 to the just-concluded third quarter, sales fell by 44.6% to 21,803 units, from 39,381 units registered between April and June.

This is of course due to the forced closure of both auto sales and production activities by the government, which imposed a lockdown from June 1. The Covid measure was lifted in stages beginning August 16. Things are looking up however, something obvious if you visited a shopping mall over the weekend. Parking was hard to come by, which says it all.

“The fourth quarter of 2021 does offer a better outlook than the previous two quarters, especially the marked improvement in the reduction of Covid-19 cases nationwide as well as the nearly 90% vaccination rate of the Malaysian adult population,” an optimistic Zainal added.

While Perodua is trying its best to fulfil orders, the wait for some models such as the Ativa SUV has grown. The P2 chief explained that the gradual growth in both production and sales were in keeping with the strict quality control measures throughout the carmaker’s operations to ensure customer satisfaction.

“We thank our customers that have continued to be patient with us as we further improve production. We do apologise for any inconvenience caused by the delay in the delivery and we will assist our customers in any way that we can to ensure that their Perodua is delivered as soon as possible,” he said.