KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has forecast a 17.9 per cent growth in total industry volume (TIV) to 600,000 units for 2022 from 508,911 units recorded in 2021.

President Datuk Aishah Ahmad said passenger and commercial vehicles are expected to record sales of 540,000 and 60,000 units, respectively, this year.

The global economy is expected to rebound post-pandemic as economies worldwide have largely opened up, she said.

“The sales tax exemption incentive for passenger vehicles till June 30, 2022 and ramping up of production and deliveries by automotive companies to fulfil backlog and new orders will be the main contributors to improving sales,” she told a media briefing at the MAA 2021 market review and 2022 outlook here, today.

Bank Negara Malaysia is expected maintain its benchmark overnight policy rate at 1.75 per cent today, which will provide additional stimulus for the sector, she said.

“This may help to stimulate domestic spending including big ticket items like cars. Consumer spending is expected to revive in tandem with the country’s recovery.”

Aishah said the introduction of new models including electric vehicles at more competitive prices, aggressive promotional campaigns by MAA members to push sales can also help to sustain buying interest.

However, she added that the sector may continue to face pandemic-related challenges, supply chain issues, semiconductor chips shortage and rising freight cost, which may affect the country’s growth momentum and impact new vehicle sales.

“However, it is unlikely these disruptions will cause major upheavals, given that the authorities have had much experience in handling the Covid-19 crisis over the past two years,” she said.

New vehicles sales fell for the second consecutive year in 2021 with TIV at 508,911 units versus 2020’s 529,514 units, which translates into a four per cent drop.

On the whole, she said it was still a commendable achievement given the challenges faced by the industry.

In the year under review, only the passenger vehicles (PV) segment registered lower sales, declining by 28,308 units or 5.9 per cent, while the commercial vehicles segment registered a growth of 15.9 per cent, or 7,705 units, to hit 56,248 units.

“The improvement in commercial vehicle sales was due to companies investing in anticipation of an economic rebound. Economic sectors such as e-commerce, healthcare and logistics were deemed as essential activities and were not restricted from operating, and enjoyed growth in 2021,” she added. — Bernama