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Malaysian new auto sales sank 11 percent last year, but recovery seen in 2007

Malaysian new auto sales sank 11 percent last year, but recovery seen in 2007

Malaysia's new auto sales dropped 11 percent last year because of tougher loan conditions and weak resale value, but the worst is over and sales are expected to bounce back this year, an industry group said Thursday.
Sales in 2006 fell to 490,768 units from a record high of 552,316 units in 2005, the Malaysian Automotive Association said. But it predicted sales to rebound and grow by 1.9 percent this year to a half million vehicles.
The 2006 sales figure fell short of the association's forecast of 520,000 units as higher interest rates, stringent rules for loan approvals and shorter repayment period made financing a problem while a hike in retail fuel prices last year dampened sales, it said in a report.
"2006 was a trying year. The inability to get financing was a key factor as well as a low resale value," Aishah Ahmad, president of the Malaysian Automotive Association, told a news conference.
"We are hoping the industry will improve in the second half of this year. It will still be competitive but I think the worst is over," she said.
Aishah said a similar decline was seen in vehicle sales in other Southeast Asian markets. Auto sales in Indonesia fell 43 percent for the first 11 months of 2006 while sales in Thailand dipped 4 percent, she said.
Malaysia remained Southeast Asia's biggest passenger car market with sales of 366,738 cars last year. Malaysia's national car maker Proton suffered a big decline in sales, dropping to 115,538 units last year, compared to 166,118, an 8 percent fall.
Consequently, Proton's share of Malaysia's passenger car market dropped to 32 percent in 2006 from 40 percent in 2005.
Proton's loss was domestic rival Perodua's gain. Perodua, which specializes in making compact cars, increased its market share to 42 percent in 2006 compared to 32 percent in 2005.
Sales of foreign cars recorded a slight drop, occupying 22 percent of the passenger car market, down from 23 percent in 2005.


Updated : 2021-07-24 20:31 GMT+08:00