Local sales of new vehicles in March surged 56.6 per cent, or 22,878 units, to an all-time high of 63,265 units over the previous month.
The figure was 12.7 per cent more than the same month last year, the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) noted in a statement yesterday.
The MAA, however, said sales volume for April would moderate and was expected to be lower than March.
The strong sales seen in March was unusual and the adjustments of production from the impact of the catastrophe in Japan might start to affect supply, it explained.
The sales volume for the first three months of the year increased by 7.5 per cent over the same period last year.
The MAA said the longer working month in March and rush for deliveries or invoicing by companies having financial year ending on March 31 caused the higher sales growth.
Fear and anticipation of a possible short supply and higher prices of motor vehicles caused by the catastrophe in Japan could have also resulted in consumers buying forward, it added.
Vehicle production in March, meanwhile, increased to 53,124 units from the 51,579 units registered in the same month last year.
Passenger vehicle production in March moved up to 49,118 units from the 47,729 units seen in the same period of 2010 while commercial vehicle production increased to 4,006 units from 3,850 units.