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Vehicle sales up [17-11-2011]  
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Total vehicle sales in October 2011 rose slightly by 3% to 53,654 units from 52,297 units a year earlier, boosted by the fact that it was a longer working month (versus September) and the return in consumers' buying interest.

Vehicle sales in October was 21%, or 9,247 units, higher compared with September, the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) said in a statement yesterday.

However, sales volume for the 10-month period declined to 503,898 units from 505,546 units recorded over the same period last year, it said.

Sales of passenger vehicles in October increased to 47,493 units from 46,439 units previously, while sales of commercial vehicles improved to 6,161 units from 5,858 units in the previous corresponding period.

For the 10-month period ending October 2011, passenger vehicle sales slipped to 450,169 units from 454,889 units sold a year earlier, while sales of commercial units rose to 53,729 units from 50,657 units in the previous corresponding period.

OSK Research automotive analyst Ahmad Maghfur Usman said vehicle sales performance for October was within expectations.

“But come November, as Honda halts operations, numbers could be weaker,” he said.

Another analyst said many car companies would have had sales promotions in conjunction with Deepavali to boost sales.

On the outlook for November, MAA said vehicle sales volume was expected to be lower compared with October.

“Impact of the floods in Thailand will disrupt both completely-knocked-down and completely-built-up (units) as well as parts supply from Thailand in November,” it said.

OSK Research, in its latest report on the local automotive sector, noted that the floods in Thailand's affected provinces, which had resulted in 20 to 30 auto part plants (including a Honda Motor Corp plant) being submerged in water, had led to an extended shutdown by most automakers such as Nissan, Isuzu, Toyota and Mitsubishi due to an unexpected supply shortage.

“While the production halt in Thailand is expected to create a near-term supply shortage across the nationwide supply chain, we expect production to normalise within the next two months, as recent production losses will be made up for by increasing working hours and running the plants at full capacity,” OSK Research said in its report last month.

Meanwhile, total vehicle production in October increased to 49,984 units versus 52,698 units registered in the same month a year earlier.

Production of passenger vehicles in October slipped to 45,549 units from 48,592 units a year earlier while commercial vehicle output increased to 4,435 units from 4,106 units a year earlier.

From January to October, production of passenger vehicles dropped to 428,550 units from the 451,100 units recorded in the same period last year, while output for commercial vehicles decreased to 37,850 units from 38,829 units previously. On the market outlook, the MAA said November sales were expected to be lower as the market was influenced by the impact of floods in Thailand, which would disrupt both completely knocked-down and completely built-up production, as well as parts supply.

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