“Yes we are studying that, but we are also closely investing the direction of the government on electrification. It seems that hybrid itself is not really in the picture of the government’s direction of electrification, at this moment in time, so we are now carefully studying the impact of that,” said Ikeda.
If you are wondering why MMM has expressed this lack of clarity in the government’s direction for electrification even though Honda Malaysia is already building 3 e:HEV RS hybrids (City, City Hatchback, HR-V) while UMW Toyota is building the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid here, that’s because details of the incentives for CKD green cars are not made public. The Malaysian government (specially, it’s MARii, the agency under MITI) calls it ‘customized incentives.’
Such opaque practice complicates things for foreign companies looking invest here.
The Mitsubishi Xpander is currently assembled (CKD) in Pekan, within the DRB-Hicom automotive manufacturing campus. The part MPV, part SUV crossover is now Malaysia’s No.1 selling non-national B-segment 7-seater MPV / SUV model.
The CKD Xpander is produced by MMC Manufacturing Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., a joint venture company between MMM and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. The Xpander line has a maximum capacity of 6,000 cars per year, but further expansion is possible.
Also, incentives are renewed annually (though some manufacturers have a different understanding, but as we said earlier, everything is ‘customized’). Such short-term arrangement makes it very risky and difficult, especially for smaller manufacturers like MMM, in planning their investments.
Hybrids will only become mainstream once a player like Perodua sells one, but the upcoming Perodua Ativa Hybrid will be limited only to 300 units and will only be leased out. So its impact to the market will still be very limited.