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Southeast Asia auto sales plunge 29% in 2020 on virus impact

Pandemic-induced slump eases as market shows signs of normalizing

Sales plunged 80% last April as authorities clamped down on the initial wave of the pandemic. (Photo by Yohei Muramatsu)

BANGKOK -- Sales of new autos in six major Southeast Asian markets declined for a second straight year in 2020, falling 29% as the coronavirus pandemic weighed on the industry.

Total sales in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Singapore sank to 2.44 million vehicles. In April alone, the tally plummeted roughly 80% as authorities imposed restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. But market conditions began to improve later in the year, and December sales dipped just 0.2% on the year to about 312,000.

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