Brunei one of two ASEAN countries with positive car sales growth

Azlan Othman

At a time when the Southeast Asian economy is hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Brunei Darussalam reported a 13.2 per cent increase in car sales in the first six months of 2020. This is indicative of Bruneians’ avid appetite for cars.

According to figures released by the ASEAN Automotive Federation (AAF), 6,582 units were sold in the Sultanate in the January to June period, compared to 5,812 units sold in the same period last year. This is in sharp contrast to the 41.4 per cent car sales contraction in other ASEAN member states due to the coronavirus lockdowns.

The trend of car buying surged the highest in June where some 1,214 cars were sold, followed by February with 1,108 units and 1,104 units in March. Brunei Darussalam’s success in curbing the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak with no lockdowns led to such positive trend. The first case was detected on March 9 and after sustained measures, the Sultanate has kept the pandemic at bay. To date, the sultanate recorded just three deaths and 144 cases.

Besides Brunei Darussalam, Myanmar recorded positive growth with 7.2 per cent with 9,537 cars sold in the first six months of this year compared to 8,893 cars in the same
period last year.

Other ASEAN member countries experienced contraction in car sales between 30 to 57 per cent.

Meanwhile, motor vehicle productions by six ASEAN member countries also dropped between 20 to 43 per cent in the first six months of this year.