Malaysia’s new-vehicle market rose 2.9% year-on-year in October to 55,754 units as consumers headed to dealerships early in anticipation of price increases next year.
The Malaysian Automotive Assn. in a statement also attributes the higher sales to automakers’ aggressive year-end promotional campaigns.
The car segment rose 3.2% for the month to 49,063 units and the commercial-vehicle market edged up 43 units to 6,691.
But the year-to-date result remained down 1.3% at 539,092 units. Car deliveries slipped 0.7% to 480,779 after 10 months and the CV market was off 3.1% at 60,363.
Anticipating the end-of-year rush, October production jumped 21.9% to 55,783 units with the car output up 23.9% at 50,974 and the CV build up 3.8% at 4,809.
The MAA says November sales volume is expected to stay at the same level as October as consumers seek to beat expected price increases in 2016.
Mitsubishi Malaysia says it is increasing its prices 2% and 7%, depending on the model, in first-quarter 2016. CEO Yang Won-Chul blames the depreciation of the ringgit.
Toyota, Honda and Nissan also have announced price increases.
Despite the fear of paying more, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed says car prices have fallen 17.9% in the two years to October.
The government’s Bernama news agency reports Mustapa telling Parliament the government remains committed to reducing car prices 20% to 30% within five years as pledged by the Barisan National Party during the 2013 general election.
If the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is ratified, import duties on completely built-up units from the U.S. would be phased out over 12 years from the present 30% to zero, Mustapa adds.
“In addition, Japan and Australia, through free-trade agreements ratified before the TPP agreement, will be allowed to bring in cars without paying import duties from Jan. 1 next year,” he says.