Auto Sales Bounce Back in Southeast Asia


Southeast Asia sales of four-wheel automobiles climbed 14% in 2021, and motorcycle and scooter sales in four key countries grew 10%, according to Asean Automotive Federation data. Although this reflected a rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on sales in 2020, the market remained well behind 2019.

In 2021, total motor vehicle sales – including passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles – among Association of Southeast Asian Nationals countries increased to 2.8 million units, compared to 2.5 million in 2020, but remained 20% behind 2019’s 3.5 million total.

The region’s sales got a large boost from Indonesia, which recorded 887,202 sales last year, a 67% increase, and the Philippines, where sales rose 20% to 268,488. Vietnam posted a 3% increase to 304,149. Amongst full-year sales totals for other large markets, Thailand’s decreased 5% to 754,254 and Malaysia’s slipped 4% to 508,911.

The federation tracks motorcycle and scooters sales in four Asean member countries: Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. The sales among those four countries increased to 3.6 million in 2021, improving from 3.2 million the previous year. The increase was driven by increases of 19% to 1.4 million sales in the Philippines and 6% to 1.6 million sales in Thailand. In the smaller markets, Singapore’s sales increased 8% to 11,428, and Malaysia’s were virtually unchanged at 497,262.

Southeast Asian countries covered in the group’s motor vehicle production data include Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Total production last year among those six countries grew 24% to 3.5 million, improving from 2020’s 2.8 million. That had been a 32% decline from 2019. Indonesia drove the growth, with its production rising 63% to 1.1 million vehicles in 2021. Among the other countries producing large numbers of vehicles, Thailand’s production increased 18% to 1.7 million vehicles, and Malaysia’s slipped 1% to 481,651.

The federation tracks motorcycle and scooter production in Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The total production among those countries increased 14% to 3.2 million last year. The largest increase, 32%, occurred in the Philippines, where sales jumped 32% to 867,453. Thailand had the most sales, at 1.8 million, a 10% increase from 2020. Malaysia’s sales were up 1% at 496,136.

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