Malaysia overtakes Thailand as Asean’s second-biggest auto market

Malaysia has overtaken Thailand to become Southeast Asia’s second-largest auto market, after Indonesia, a major shift in a region that has become a key battleground for Asian automakers, Japan’s Nikkei Asia online newspaper reported.

It compiled sales data released by industry groups in those three countries plus the Philippines and Vietnam and found that Malaysia’s sales figures, which had been third for a long time, topped Thailand’s for three consecutive quarters through January-March 2024, Vietnam news agency citing the online papers report said.

According to the Malaysian Automotive Association, auto sales increased 5 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier to 202,245 vehicles. This followed an 11 per cent increase in 2023 to a record 799,731 vehicles.

Sales tax exemptions for domestically produced vehicles ― part of the government’s economic stimulus package ― provided a tailwind for the national car brands Perodua and Proton, which held about 60 per cent of the market share, VNA reported.

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