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Automotive Industry in Malaysia - Statistics & Facts

With a sales volume of about 523 thousand motor vehicles, the Malaysian automotive industry has already reached a certain level of saturation. The sales market in Malaysia, with its approximately 30 million inhabitants, is relatively small. Malaysia also does not need to play catch up in this market, as in many other ASEAN countries. As a result, the automotive market has been growing at a low single-digit rate up until 2019 and declined slightly in 2020 due to Covid-19. However, Malaysia is still in third place in the automotive industry ranking of ASEAN countries and this place should be secured for the next few years. Passenger cars are the most popular vehicles in Malaysia. In 2019, they held the largest market share, and about 353 thousand were sold. SUVs and MPVs divided the remaining sales shares almost exclusively with approximately 93 and 33 percent respectively.

Malaysia's local automotive manufacturers

Malaysia is the only country in Southeast Asia that has two of its own large car brands. While other Asian markets are dominated by Japanese car manufacturers, the dominance of the Malaysian market is shared by national manufacturers Proton and Perodua Malaysia. Up until 2018, both manufacturers have been struggling with decreasing sales figures due to a lack of functionality in their cars. However, in 2020, the Malaysian automotive manufacturers managed to increase their market share and ended the year on the first and second rank among the bestselling car brands in the country. The manufacturers’ success is due to the successes of their flagship models. For example, the Proton Saga was responsible for almost half of the company’s sales volume.

Protectionist measures on the automotive market

For many decades, Malaysia's automobile policy was characterized by protectionist measures aimed at promoting the two manufacturers Proton and Perodua until they were internationally competitive. Not entirely voluntary, the government is now focusing on an opening and liberalization of the automotive industry. Therefore, the import duties for automotive parts have steadily decreased in recent years. As of 2019, the import duty for CKD-vehicles (completely knocked down) amounts to ten percent of the value if the country of origin is not an ASEAN member. For ASEAN members the import duties do not apply anymore.

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