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Maybank IB sees robust car sales in second half [24-07-2012]  
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The Malaysian motor vehicle sector is expected to witness robust sales in the second half of this year and boost the 2012 total industry volume (TIV), said Maybank Investment Bank (Maybank IB).

The bank said going forward, it expected a seasonal surge (pre-Hari Raya Aidilfiltri) to provide an extra boost to TIV over the next two months.

"The recently-launched Toyota Camry and Honda Civic models are expected to cause a spike in the TIV of their respective marques in the near term," Maybank IB said in a research note yesterday.

However, Maybank IB said competing new launches among peers in the pre-Raya push for sales will raise advertising and promotion expenses, which will pressure the margins.

It said the strong US dollar and the yen against the ringgit will also impact the margins, as component costs were largely denominated in these currencies.

The TIV volume increased to 301,224 units in the January-June period this year, from 297,203 in the same period last year.

Maybank IB said despite multiple headwinds in the beginning of the year, year-to-date TIV was in line with its expectation.

"As such, we maintain our TIV forecast at 612,000 for 2012," it said, adding that it has maintained the "overweight" call on the motor vehicle sector.

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