The decline in automotive sales in the ASEAN region has substantially slowed down to 14.2 percent in September from negative 26.7 percent in August, but the industry meltdown is still far from over as year to date sales still remained high at 35.7 percent below compared with same period last year.

Data from the ASEAN Automotive Federation (AAF) showed that in September, automotive sales in 8 ASEAN countries reached 243,062 units from 283,055 units in the same month last year with improved sales in all markets. Sales also improved when pitted against the 207,397 sales in August this year.

AUTO ASEAN - Decline in ASEAN auto sales, production slows

The September sales have brought ASEAN’s year to date sales to 1,924,065 units or 39.1 percent below the region’s 3,159,483 units sold in the January-September period last year.

Thailand, the Detroit of ASEAN, posted a 2 percent positive growth for the first time since the start of the year with sales of 77,907 units from 76,195 units in September last year.

Malaysia, another major market, also sustained its recovery with 26.4 percent growth as sales went up to 56,444 units from 44,666 units in the same month last year.

Indonesia, however, was still at negative 47.9 percent to 48,554 units from 93,175 units in September last year, but already an improvement from the 58.8 percent decline in August.

The Philippines also improved with a negative growth of 22.9 percent in September from 39.5 percent in August. It sold 24,523 units in September from 31,820 in the same month last year.

Vietnam also improved with 27,252 units sold or just 1.9 percent behind its September 2019 sales of 27,767 units. Smaller ASEAN markets also improved. Singapore was still down at 11.7 percent, Brunei at

positive 30.4 percent, and Myanmar at negative 39 percent.

In terms of motor vehicle production, six ASEAN countries showed substantial improvement with combined production in September hitting already 286,034 or 20.2 percent units behind the 358,435

units in September last year. In August this year, the industry produced 220,956 units.

Indonesia, the biggest market in ASEAN, was the laggard among regional manufacturers having produced only 59,581 units as against 120,958 units in September 2019. But this was a big improvement from the 75 percent decline in August of 75.3 percent to 29,584 units from 119,708 units in August 2019.

Malaysia maintained its climbed with 15.3 percent increase in production to 51,987 units from 45,101 units in the same month last year. This was a big improvement from its 6.9 percent increase in sales in August.

Philippines still lagged in its production by 21.8 percent having produced only 7,457 units from 9,536 units in September 2019. This was an improvement from the 34.3 percent decline in August.

The September production has brought the January-September car production in the region to 1,924,065 units or 39.1 percent below the 3,159,483 units in the same 9-month period last year.

The motorcycles and scooters scene was no different with total sales reaching only 2,293,294 units or 23.4 percent below the 2,992,319 units in the same 9-month period last year. The decline in sales, however, slowed down to negative 3 percent in September from negative 7.7 percent in August.

But production of the two-wheeled vehicles has gone into the positive territory for the first time  this year with 0.5 percent decline in September to 314,505 units from 313,006 in September 2019. This was a sharp improvement from the 22.5 percent decline in August this year, 36 percent in July and 50.5 percent in June.  

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