By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
The automotive sector sold 198,518 vehicles during the three-month tax holiday period, almost 48,000 more compared to June-August 2017, as consumers locked on the opportunities of not paying consumption levy for their purchases.
Vehicle sales in August, the last month of the tax free period, rose 27% to 65,551 units in August or 13,835 more compared to a year ago.
Car sales during the three-month consumption tax free period had pushed vehicle sales to recent record sales after a very tame market in the last few years.
Vehicle loan applications also rose to record levels as buyers moved their purchases to enjoy the absence of the 6% Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Passenger vehicle sales rose 21% to 55,772 units, while commercial vehicles surged 80% to 9,779 compared to the same month a year ago.
Total industry volume (TIV) jumped by 10% year-to-date to 423,730 deliveries against 384,722 recorded for the same period a year ago, said the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).
Total production increased 12% for the January-August period to 383,498 vehicles, 40,540 units more compared to the cor- responding period a year ago.
Car dealers also saw an increase in footfall at dealer- ships and showrooms.
In July, TIV rose by 41% year-on-year (YoY) to 68,465 units against 48,553 for the same month of the preceding year, creating history as the second- highest monthly TIV achieved in the local automotive industry next to the 69,371 record high achieved in December 2015.
TIV jumped 28% YoY in June — the first month with the zero- rated GST — to 64,502 units, compared to 50,273 recorded in the same month a year ago.
However, MAA anticipates that sales in September would drop compared to August’s figures because many of the purchases had skewed towards the tax-free period.
The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) previously reported that automotive sales are expected to decline towards year-end as the market naturalises with the reintroduction of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) effective Sept 1.
RHB Research Institute Sdn Bhd head of Malaysia research Alexander Chia told TMR that the car market is expected to gradually normalise in the next three to six months after the reintroduction of SST.
He also said the surge in sales during the tax holiday period had shed inventories for the remaining of the year.
Carmakers have surprised the market with lower car prices under 10% SST compared to the 6% GST.