Malaysia’s 2018 auto sales rebounded, flat growth seen

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — An automotive group said new vehicle sales in Malaysia rebounded in 2018 after two straight years of contraction, thanks to a three-month tax holiday, but growth is likely to remain flat this year amid uncertainties over government policies.

The Malaysian Automotive Association reported yesterday that 598,714 vehicles were sold last year, up from 3.8 per cent in 2017. It said this was largely due to rising demand from June to August 2018 after vehicle prices dropped when a new government that took power in May’s general election scrapped an unpopular consumption tax.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s government declared a three-month holiday break before reintroducing a sales and services tax in September.

Association president Aishah Ahmad said sales are projected to rise by 0.2 per cent in 2019.