15 more new 2020 models still left to be launched in Malaysia
Hans · Jul 14, 2020 08:30 PM
We are into the second half of 2020 and if it not for Covid-19 and MCO, a lot more new models would’ve been launched in Malaysia by now. With five more months to go before the year ends, some models that were originally planned for 2020 might have to be pushed to next year.
So what are the remaining models that are due to be launched soon and which are the ones that will be delayed? Here are our predictions.
Perodua Myvi facelift (2020 launch – high possibility)
Malaysia’s best-selling car is due for a mid-life update later this year, but don’t expect any major changes.
We can expect the new Perodua Myvi to feature an updated ASA 2.0 autonomous emergency braking feature, thus bringing it in-line with the lower-range Axia and Bezza. Apart from some minor changes to the grille and bumper, the Myvi will look pretty much like the current model.
The new 2020 Perodua Myvi could be launched as early as this month.
Update: Perodua has announced the new Myvi. It turns out that the model is more of a specs update rather than a facelift - upgraded ASA 2.0 (now available for 1.3-litre variants too) and a new Electric Blue colour.
Proton X50 (2020 launch – high possibility)
It’s probably the most anticipated new model of 2020. Priced below RM 100,000, the Proton X50 will disrupt sales of not just other SUV models like the Honda HR-V, but also traditional B-segment sedans like the Toyota Vios and Honda City.
Powertrain is yet to be confirmed but it will most likely be a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder, paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
We expect the model to be launched in the last quarter of 2020.
Mitsubishi Xpander (2020 launch – high possibility)
The Mitsubishi Xpander will be launched in Malaysia soon, as spyshots of the model have surfaced.
It is powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that does 105 PS and 141 Nm, sent to the front wheels via a 4-speed automatic transmission.
When it arrives in Malaysia, it will be challeging the Honda BR-V and Perodua Aruz.
Perodua D55L (2020 launch – low possibility, 2021 more likely)
Perodua’s yet-to-be named SUV will be based on the Japanese market Daihatsu Rocky/Toyota Raize. It measures about the same size as a B-segment Perodua Myvi (longer but narrower), but it will still be smaller than a Proton X50, with a correspondingly lower specifications too.
It is left to be seen if the new Perodua SUV will still be introduced within this year. Perodua have previously mentioned that it has the capacity to only launch either one full model change and one minor change (facelift) model, or two minor change models in one year.
This year, it has already launched the Perodua Bezza facelift and is expected to launch a new Myvi soon. However, the Perodua Bezza facelift was launched very early this year, in January, so does that count?
We think the conservative Perodua would rather avoid getting into a shouting match with the Proton X50 to vie for consumer’s attention, and would probably launch the D55L (or whatever it will be called by then) in early 2021.
The current Nissan Almera is the oldest, least competitive model in Edaran Tan Chong Motor’s (ETCM) line-up. It’s quite obvious that ETCM needs the new generation Almera more than Honda Malaysia needs the all-new City.
However, Covid-19 might delay ETCM’s original plan to locally-assemble the Almera within this year, to sometime in early-2021.
The only question left is will it use the current 1.5-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated engine or the new 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine.
The Nissan Kicks is in the plans for Malaysia but the project has encountered some delays, through no fault of ETCM.
See, the Nissan Kicks made its Thailand debut earlier this year but deliveries have yet to begin due to issues parts sourcing. The recent mess with Nissan’s frequent management shakeups isn’t helping matters. Without the necessary parts, Thailand cannot prepare the necessary CKD packs for Malaysia to assemble the vehicle here.
We believe the Kicks will only be introduced one year after the Almera is launched in Malaysia. It’s quite taxing for an assembly plant to squeeze in two full model change projects so close to each other.
Honda City (2020 launch – low possibility, mid-2021 more likely)
Although the all-new Honda City has been launched in Thailand, there’s no sign that the current, outgoing model is being phased out in Malaysia. As it is, the outgoing Honda City is still competitive enough against the Toyota Vios.
MCO has also upset most of Honda Malaysia’s plans and this year alone, Honda has already launched 3 new models – the new Honda BR-V and Honda Civic facelift, as well as the all-new Honda Accord.
Starting production of three new models in less than a year not a common practice as phasing in one new model alone is already quite challenging for any manufacturing plant.
We think the Pegoh plant will be quite busy fulfilling backlogged orders post-MCO and the all-new Honda City will most likely be introduced sometime in the middle of 2021.
Kia Seltos (2020 launch – moderate possibility)
The Kia Seltos is supposed to be launched by now, but complications in getting price approvals have delayed the model’s launch.
However we believe that the issue should be solved before the end of the year.
Toyota Harrier (2020 launch – high possibility)
The Toyota Harrier is imported from Japan, which also means that launching the all-new Harrier in Malaysia is fairly easy, with no complicated parts localization/local assembly work to deal with.
The model has gone on sale in Japan in June and it’s reasonable to expect it to be launched in Malaysia by December.
Volkswagen Passat R-Line (2020 launch – high possibility)
Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) have already confirmed that a dressed up Passat R-Line will join the line-up later this year.
Note that this is an R-Line model, not an R so powertrain will remain the same as a regular Volkswagen Passat’s – 2.0 TSI making 190 PS and 320 Nm paired to a 7-speed (now a wet-type) dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Volkswagen Arteon (2020 launch – high possibility)
The Volkswagen Arteon had a rather long gestation period in Malaysia. It was first previewed back in end-2018 and after more than a year and a half of waiting, the model has yet to arrive at local VW dealerships and the MCO is not helping matters.
However, we can say with a high degree of certainty that the model will be launched before the year ends. VPCM has confirmed that our local Arteon will be powered by the same 190 PS/320 Nm 2.0 TSI engine as the Passat Elegance.
Mercedes-Benz GLA Class (2020 launch – high possibility)
The new Volvo S90 made its global debut earlier this year, shortly before the world descended into Covid-19 chaos.
Volvo Car Malaysia had initially planned to launch new the S90 this year, but MCO had delayed its plans by quite a fair bit. Since the S90 is locally-assembled, a longer lead time is required before the S90 can be launched in Malaysia.
Porsche Taycan (2020 launch – high possibility)
You can think of the Porsche Taycan as Porsche's full-electric model as a Tesla Model S. Just as quick, but it’s better put together and it’s made by people who know how to build cars.
Sime Darby Auto Performance have earlier confirmed that the Porsche Taycan will be launched in Malaysia in 2020. Things have gone a bit quiet since but it’s mostly due to MCO. The Taycan is on track to be launched within 2020.
BMW 1 Series (2020 launch – moderate possibility)
The BMW 1 Series is an obvious gap in BMW Group Malaysia’s line-up. The last of the rear-wheel drive 1 Series is now more and the all-new front-wheel drive 1 Series has yet to make its local debut.
Word has it that for the first time ever, the BMW M135i might be introduced locally, going up against the Mercedes-AMG A35.