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Malaysia auto sales sinks 9.2 pct: industry

Malaysia's vehicle sales plunged 9.2 percent for the first three months of 2009 to 118,681 units amid an economic slowdown, an auto industry group said Tuesday.

The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) said sales of new motor vehicles fell 4.8 percent from a year earlier last month. It said in March 44,205 units were sold in Southeast Asia's biggest passenger car market.

But sales in March rose by 20.5 percent or 7,530 vehicles compared to February due to a host of factors.

"New modal introduction, higher sales of light commercial vehicles and a longer working month (contributed to stronger sales)," MAA said in a statement.

The industry group said it expected sales in April "to be better than March 2009" following the announcement of the government's second stimulus plan.

The industry group forecast maintained its sales at 480,000 units for 2009, down from 548,115 last year.

Malaysia, Southeast Asia's third-biggest economy, in March unveiled a stimulus package worth 16.2 billion dollars but warned that the economy could still shrink by 1.0 percent this year despite the massive spending.

Copyright 2009 AFP Asian Edition
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Publication:AFP Asian Edition
Date:Apr 21, 2009
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