Car sales hit top gear in May

PETALING JAYA: Total vehicle sales jumped more than 40% to 60,780 units last month compared with 42,977 units a year earlier, as demand for cars was spurred by promotional campaigns in conjunction with the Hari Raya festive season.

In a statement yesterday, the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) said sales volume in May was 22% or 10,816 units higher than April 2019.

For the first five months of this year, cumulative sales rose to 253,808 units from 225,134 units a year earlier.

On its expectations for June, the MAA said sales are expected to be lower than the month of May, in light of it being a shorter working month.

AmInvestment Bank Research, in a recent report, said sales this year has largely been driven by the national car segment.

“Since 2014, the non-national marques have always marginally surpassed national marques in terms of market share on a full-year basis. However, as at April 2019, we witnessed a radical change in the sector for the first time since 2014, where the national marques’ market share climbed above that of the non-national marques (56% vs 44%).

“This was driven by the ongoing strong demand and deliveries of Perodua’s third generation Myvi (2017) and the popular Proton X70 sport-utility vehicle,” it said.

Going forward, the research house said a weak ringgit may affect the automotive sector.“With the exception of DRB-Hicom, we expect all of the companies’ earnings under our coverage to be impacted negatively by the weaker ringgit in the forthcoming quarterly results.

“The ringgit has weakened by 3.5% to RM4.20 to the US dollar at the end of May from the peak of RM4.06 between February and March.”Meanwhile, the MAA has forecast total industry volume to hit 600,000 units this year.

At its biannual media briefing last month, the MAA announced that 2018 vehicle sales grew 3.8% to 598,714 units, exceeding the association’s forecast of 1.5%.

On the sales trend for 2019, its president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said the government’s delay in approving new car models’ pricing has negatively affected carmakers’ plans to launch new models. The delay, in turn, is expected to take a toll on the overall sales of new vehicles this year.

Source: TheStar