Malaysia Auto-Market Ranks Second in Southeast Asia, Surpassing Thailand

The automotive market landscape in Southeast Asia is witnessing significant shifts, with Malaysia emerging as the region’s second-largest auto market, surpassing Thailand and trailing only behind Indonesia. This transformation underscores Malaysia’s growing importance in the automotive sector, marking a pivotal moment in the region’s automotive industry dynamics.

Data compiled by sources reveals that Malaysia’s auto sales figures have consistently outpaced those of Thailand for three consecutive quarters through January-March 2024. The Malaysian Automotive Association reports a 5% increase in auto sales in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the previous year, reaching 202,245 vehicles. This growth follows an impressive 11% surge in 2023, setting a record of 799,731 vehicles sold.

Tax exemptions for domestically produced vehicles, implemented as part of the government’s economic stimulus package, have provided a significant boost to the market. National car brands Perodua and Proton, commanding a combined 60% market share, have benefited from these tax incentives. Additionally, the introduction of new models, including electric vehicles, at competitive prices has stimulated consumer demand and contributed to the sales surge.

While Malaysia experiences robust growth in its automotive sector, Thailand’s auto market faces challenges, with sales declining by 25% in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the previous year. Factors such as increasing nonperforming auto loans and stagnant consumption have contributed to this downturn, despite Thailand’s historical prominence in the automotive industry.

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