Malaysian new vehicle sales jumped 28% to 63,676 units in July 2023 from 49,934 units a year earlier, according to registration data released by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).

The vehicle market continued to be driven by strong domestic economic growth, despite interest rate hikes by the central bank over the last year and the recent discontinuation of government purchasing incentives. The market this year has been supported by new model launches and an easing of supply chain bottlenecks after last year’s component shortages. 

The MAA said in a statement: “The higher sales in July was due to the normalisation of the automotive supply chains and the fulfilment of bookings received for recent new model launches.” 

In the first seven months of 2023, the vehicle market was up by almost 13% at 429,807 units from 381,680 units in the same period of last year, with passenger vehicle sales rising 14% to 384,600 units while commercial vehicle sales were just 4% higher at 45,207 units.

Vehicle production increased 16% to 429,397 units. 

Last month the MAA revised its full year domestic market forecast to 725,000 units, slightly higher than last year’s record 720,658 sales, up from its earlier forecast for a 10% decline to 650,000 units, reflecting a stronger than expected first half and a resilient domestic economy.  

Proton global sales rebounded 27% to 90,647 units in the first seven months of 2023 from weak year earlier volume, including close to 1,200 exports. The Saga remained the brand’s best selling model year to date with 39,251 deliveries, followed by the Geely based X50 compact SUV with 20,192 units. The company launched its first hybrid model in May, the Geely-based X90 SUV, and said it planned to launch “at least” one locally made new energy vehicle (NEV) model per year in the future, starting with a battery powered model later this year.  

UMW Toyota reported an 8.5% sales increase to 57,008 units YTD, lifted by the introduction of the all-new Vios compact sedan in March and strong demand for the Corolla Cross and Hilux models. The company launched the Innova Zenith in June, which will be available also in hybrid format. Toyota also began taking orders for the new Alphard minibus this month and plans to launch the BZ4X battery-powered SUV later this year.