UMW Holdings announced that it expects automotive sales to recover gradually this month as car showrooms and assembly plants have been permitted to resume operations from August 16, following the implementation of the full movement control order (FMCO) from June 1 which has adversely impacted the domestic automotive sector.

A total of 7,086 vehicles were delivered in July 2021, the bulk of which was delivered in Sabah and Sarawak where Phase Two conditions of the National Recovery Plan permitted operations in those states.

July 2021 saw a shuffling in the order of brands in the sales volume hierarchy, where perennial leader Perodua was fourth last month with 655 units delivered, and Toyota took second place with 1,442 sold. Automotive brands within the UMW group, Toyota, Lexus and Perodua saw increases in online showroom visitors during this lockdown period, UMW Holdings said in its statement.

“In preparing to resume our operations, we have been working closely with the relevant authorities to ensure that all our employees, suppliers and dealers are vaccinated progressively. We would also continue to ensure strict compliance to Covid-19 standard operating procedures at all times to ensure the safety of our employees and customers,” the UME Holdings statement read.

UMW Holdings added that it “will take the necessary measures to increase production and delivery of vehicles to work towards achieving its annual sales targets” as it takes into consideration its encouraging orders, the introduction of new models as well as the extension of the sales tax exemption until December 31.

In July, the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) revised its forecast downwards to 500,000 units from the original total industry volume (TIV) forecast of 570,000 units as the FMCO from June 1 meant that the automotive sector was essentially shut down, and originally was not permitted to open until Phase 3 of the National Recovery Plan. This has since been relaxed in Phase 1 states for fully vaccinated customers.

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