To say that 2021 was a challenging year for the automotive industry would be a criminal understatement. Not only did the market continue to be battered by COVID-19 and the continuing movement control orders – just like 2020 – but it also had to deal with a chip shortage that shows no signs of abating and some of the worst floods Malaysia has ever experienced.
As such, it’s no surprise that our total industry volume (TIV) for the year fell by nearly four per cent to 508,911 units, a drop of more than 20,000. However, the market did rally in the final month – despite the aforementioned flooding and associated production delays – to finish strong, with total sales of 65,184 vehicles registered in December. That’s an increase of almost ten percent over November.
Sales data from the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) showed a month of highs and lows for the brands operating in Malaysia. Perodua continued its reign at the top of the chart – the perennial market leader sold 2,142 more cars at 23,041 units, up 13.5%. Despite this, the company missed its sales target of 200,000 units, registering just 190,291 sales in 2021, its worst performance since 2012.
Proton had a rougher December, with sales effectively flat (-1.5% or 209 cars) at 13,701 units. This was almost certainly caused by production halting on the popular X50 and X70 due to vendors being affected by the floods. It still held a significant lead over a resurgent third-placed Toyota – a total of 9,193 of the company’s vehicles found homes last month (up 9.3%), buoyed by increased demand for the Hilux pick-up.
This helped the company stay ahead of Honda in the standings, although the fellow Japanese carmaker didn’t have a bad time itself, selling 5.1% more vehicles at 7,982 units. Rounding out the top five is Mitsubishi, which capped off a strong year even though sales fell 5.9% to 2,126 units.
Elsewhere on this list, Hyundai’s sales jumped by 122.6% to 207 units, Volvo’s rose by 75.3% to 524 units and Isuzu’s saw an increase of 41.5% to 1,380 units. However, it wasn’t such a good month for Land Rover (-45.5%), Subaru (-16.6%) and Mazda (-10.1%) – despite the latter finally recommencing commercial vehicle sales with its new Isuzu D-Max-based BT-50.
On the premium side, BMW and MINI have finally released sales figures for the quarter, as are customary for these brands. Munich’s 1,681 cars sold in October, November and December lifted its total sales to 8,439 units – enough to put it in ninth place on the standings – while its British subsidiary’s sales of 110 units meant it sold 978 vehicles in 2021.
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