national automotive policy malaysia

Government needs to stop flip-flopping on auto industry policy

From fuel standards to Approved Permits to tax structures, the last 18 months have been marked by a lot of uncertainties in the Malaysian automotive industry. Last October, the government announced that it is backtracking on its commitment to roll out lower sulphur Euro 4M standard RON 95 petrol by 14 months, from 1-October 2018 to 1-January 2020. The Ministry Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs nonchalantly announced the postponement only on 5-October 2018, saying that the delay was due to the


Oct 21, 2019

Full speed ahead for Thailand’s National EV Policy Committee, 750k xEVs by 2030

Covid-19 might have dominated the headlines for 2020 and gave the impression that little else is happening around the world. That’s not true, especially in the field of clean energy and electric vehicles. Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, took delivery of the first 20 wind farm turbines for its 400 MegaWatt Dumat Al-Jandal wind farm – the largest clean energy project in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia aims to generate 50 percent of its electricity from renewable s


Oct 25, 2020

Minister: This is why Malaysia's automotive sector is unsuccessful

In a parliament sitting last week, Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar explained why Malaysia lags in the automotive sector. "Focusing on the automotive sector, we can see that Proton and the government policies back then were stumbling blocks to the development of the national automotive industry,” said Wan Junaidi, in response to a question posed by Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (BN, Pontian) at the Dewan Rakyat sitting last Wednesday


Aug 10, 2020

“National Car” to be defined in NAP 2019

In view of the soon-to-be launched third national car, Chief Executive Officer of Automotive, Robotic and IoT Institute (MARii), Datuk Madani Sahari has said the criteria of “National Car” will be defined in the new National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2019. “There is a need for the automobile industry to move away from petrol-based engines to hybrid and electric ones,” said Datuk Madani, as quoted by Bernama. Last month, Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said that the third national car shoul

Adrian ChiaAdrian Chia

Sep 18, 2019

Toyota: CKD hybrids planned for Malaysia but clearer NAP needed

Following the announcement of the new National Automotive Policy (NAP) by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry earlier today, UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) has released a statement saying that it welcomes and supports the government’s directions for the automotive industry. “We are pleased that the government has provided an updated ‘roadmap’ for the development of the industry and this will provide direction and guidance which will be of great value to forward planning, especially where i


Feb 21, 2020

While Malaysia dithers, Thailand and Indonesia have overtaken Malaysia in EV race

As recent as 2017, Malaysia was the leading country in the ASEAN region for electrified vehicles. We were the first in the region to assemble plug-in hybrid vehicles and for several years, Malaysia was among BMW’s top-five largest markets in the world for plug-in hybrid models, behind USA, UK, Japan, and China. Thanks to generous tax rebates for locally-assembled energy efficient vehicles (EEVs), Malaysia was, at one time adopting plug-in hybrid vehicles faster than Germany, despite Germany’s ne


Sep 30, 2019

Malaysia now classified as a risky investment destination by some manufacturers

The recently announced 2020 National Automotive Policy (NAP) and recent changes in the government are not sitting well with car manufacturers operating in Malaysia. “It’s a bit unsettling. Less than a week after announcing an auto policy that doesn’t say anything meaningful, the prime minister is stepping down?,” said an executive at a German automotive brand. However, the executive remained optimistic about the mid-term prospects of Malaysia, and sees the current episode merely as a speed bump


Feb 24, 2020

Geely joins IATF to influence international automotive quality standards

Geely has become the first Asian automaker to join IATF, a global automotive quality standards organization. The International Automotive Task Force (IATF) is a group of automotive manufacturers which aims at providing improved quality products to automotive customers worldwide. With its admission, Geely will now participate in the formation and improvement of international quality standards with other global automotive groups to promote the sustainable development of the world’s automotive indu


Apr 9, 2021

NAP 2020: A lot of buzzwords, little meaning, but the industry can now at least move on

Waiting for the announcement of the new National Automotive Policy (NAP) is a bit like waiting for the next installment of the Fast and Furious. You know it’s going to be bad but you still want to watch it. Although the automotive industry already knows what to expect – more of the same old, a lot of lofty goals but lacking in details. However professional managers are obligated to make decisions based on data and official sources of information, so car companies will still need to wait for an o


Feb 21, 2020

MAA: We don’t need third national car and every car company should pay equal duties

The Malaysia Automotive Association (MAA) feels that the country does not need a third national car as the existing two are enough. MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad told The Edge, “From the industry’s standpoint, we already have two national cars — that’s already too many. To have a third national car? I don’t think we need it.” She also did not comment on Perodua’s intention to be involved in the third national car project as MAA does not have details of the plan. Datuk Aishah also said that ev


Jul 27, 2020

The all-new 2020 Honda City for Malaysia will see a price hike, no turbo engine

The all-new 2020 Honda City has just made its global debut in Bangkok yesterday. It comes with a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine. Prices in Thailand have dropped by around 2 to 10 percent, depending on variant, but that’s mostly because the cleaner emissions 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine now consumes just 4.2-litre/100 km under the UNECE R101 test cycle, with CO2 emissions just under 100 g/km, thus qualifying it for lower excise duties - down from 20 percent in the pr


Nov 26, 2019

Have you been to Malaysia’s National Automobile Museum? It’s really small

A museum’s purpose is to preserve parts of history and to educate the public. If a museum is interesting enough, it makes a city or town more attractive and might even bring in foreign tourists. The Louvre Museum in Paris is a famous example. Having a successful museum is great for the economy, but the main purpose of the museum still remains the same – preservation of history and public education. If we talk about famous automotive museums, you might think of the Mercedes-Benz and Porsche Museu


Sep 21, 2020

MAA: Car prices confirmed to increase after December 31, 2020

The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has confirmed that new car prices are set to increase after December 31, 2020. Its president, Datuk Aishah Ahmad has confirmed that the updated Open Market Value (OMV) calculations will bump car prices up, between 0-20%, depending on model. She told reporters, “Any increase in OTR prices would be fully absorbed or exempted by the MoF for this year and the difference in duties for past years will also be exempted.” She also said that the increase in car


Jan 22, 2020

BMW Group Malaysia’s deliveries down 19 percent on the back of a weaker economy

The BMW Group Malaysia delivered 11,567 vehicles in 2019 – contributed by 9,300 units of BMW cars and 1,142 units of MINI cars, plus 1,125 units of BMW Motorrad motorcycles. The figure is 19 percent lower than 2018’s record sales of 14,338 vehicles. Sales of the company’s namesake BMW brand cars dropped 23 percent while the youthful MINI brand contracted by 5 percent. Archrival Mercedes-Benz Malaysia sold 10,020 cars in the same 12-month period. Like BMW, Mercedes-Benz too experienced a similar


Feb 4, 2020

Thailand announces 8-year tax breaks for EV investments, now including bikes and ships

The Thailand government is working overtime to move the country’s automotive industry from away from its current reputation as ‘Detroit of the East,’ which carries with it an image of it being a very truck-centric industry. Although Thailand is now also a regional manufacturing hub for A/B segment cars like the Mitsubishi Mirage/Attrage as well as the Toyota Vios/Yaris Ativ, Honda City, and Nissan Almera. Thailand is very well aware of its neighbour Indonesia’s ambitions in manufacturing electri


Nov 5, 2020

Tun Mahathir wishes the Proton Saga a happy 35th birthday

In a recent Facebook post by Tun Mahathir, he wished the Proton Saga a happy 35th birthday, on top of sharing photos from back in the day. Keep in mind that Proton can be considered as Tun Mahathir’s brainchild, as he conceptualized the idea of a national car way back in 1979 when he was the Minister of Trade and Industry. The National Car Project was greenlit by Tun Mahathir in 1982, a year after he became the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia. Mitsubishi was selected to participate in the proj


Jul 10, 2020

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia explains why we can’t have the EQC yet

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is ready to introduce its EQ brand of electric vehicles (EVs) in Malaysia but for that to happen, the company needs a certain level of assurance in terms of long-term stability with regards to the government’s direction and better clarity in our National Automotive Policy (NAP). Speaking at a virtual meeting with the Malaysian media yesterday, Dr. Claus Weidner, President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia said, “As we have always said, we are looking into the feasibility of


Feb 18, 2021

MG Thailand doubles xEV battery production, boost in demand for PHEVs

MG Thailand will double its battery production for PHEVs to serve growing demand in the market. Bangkok Post reports that MG’s manufacturing plant in Chon Buri will ramp the battery production to 700-800 units per month from the current 300-400 units per month. One of the PHEVs sold by MG Thailand is the MG HS PHEV. Also read: New 2021 MG HS PHEV launched in Thailand – Proton X70 rival goes electric! The MG HS PHEV is built in Thailand and launched last year, shares the same platform with the fu


Mar 23, 2021

6,468 units of Toyota sold in October - Yaris the No.1 non-national hatchback

Following Perodua’s sales growth for the month of October, UMW is on another roll with its other automotive segment, UMW Toyota (UMWT) posting positive sales in the same month. According to a statement, UMWT has sold 6,468 units in October. This is a 15.4% increase from the 5,605 units that were sold in the previous month. This gives the total number of Toyota units sold in the first 10 months of 2020 to 43,807 units, which are on track to reach its revised sales target of 53,000 units for the y

CY FoongCY Foong

Nov 4, 2020

LGE denies car prices going up, but also said changes (if any) will be gradual – wait…what?

More than a week after The Star reported that prices of locally-assembled cars will be going up, Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng have finally gave a reply on the matter, but unfortunately it only served to confuse more than inform. Speaking at yesterday's press conference of the Budget 2020: Government Guarantee Schemes for SMEs, Lim was asked by reporters from the mainstream media (no automotive media were present, as it was a non-automotive related event) to comment on the matter, Lim asked r


Jan 22, 2020

Malaysia mulls CO2 emission as requirement for EEV, more hybrids to come?

The Malaysian government is drafting a proposal to tighten requirements to qualify for excise tax deductions under the Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEV) program. EEV is a tax incentive package for fuel efficient, locally-assembled cars. Not to be confused with EV (electric vehicles), EEV is technology-neutral and encompasses all types of powertrain. Currently, EEV incentives are decided on a case by case basis, based on several factors including (but not limited to) the value of project and econom


Dec 17, 2020

Khairy: Third national car? Never even discussed

The third national car company project has been a very controversial topic among Malaysians ever since it was proposed. Even with a change in government, the project seemed to be ongoing despite not knowing where some of the funds went. Interestingly, another minister has said that the third national car project might not even be considered for development. This was first pointed out by Careta. Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Khairy Jamaluddin has said in a townhall livestream o

CY FoongCY Foong

Aug 21, 2020

Indonesia will limit import of Proton X70 until Malaysia opens up its car market further

Last week, this column discussed the challenges that lie ahead in exporting the Proton X70 to Indonesia. While the Proton X70 was able to race to the top of the sales chart almost as soon as it was launched, it will not enjoy such luxury in Indonesia. As an imported model, the Indonesian government will certainly not grant Proton any tax incentives the way the Malaysian government does. Without a significant price advantage, it’s will have a harder time going up against the Honda CR-V. To win ov


Apr 10, 2020

Once poorer than Malaysia, how Korea’s car industry progressed further than ours?

Last week, we’ve chronicled how Hyundai grew from a small workshop to a world-class automaker. What was left out however, was the hows and the whys behind the rise of Korea’s car industry, which will be discussed in the following text. When Malaysia gained its independence, Korea was a failed state. It relied on donations from the US for 70 percent of its budget, and had nothing worth exporting. In 1960, Malaysia’s (Malaya) GDP per capita was USD 234. South Korea earned just USD 158 - poorer tha


Nov 23, 2020

Government to review the 18% discount plan for Plus Highways

The government has announced that they will be reviewing the 18 percent discount plan under the North-South Expressway Project (Plus). This is to reassess the impact the plan will have on the National Privatisation Policy. The discount was first introduced by the previous Pakatan Harapan government under the leadership of Tun Dr. Mahathir in January 2020. In the report, the government announced that they will not be selling Plus Highways and instead will implement discounts up to 18 percent on t


Aug 13, 2020

It’s time to stop using the term national cars to describe Proton and Perodua

Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional, the company which we now know as Proton Holdings, was established in 1983 as Malaysia’s national car company. Ten years later in 1993, Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua, better known as Perodua, was established as our second national national car company. We are now in the midst of setting up a third national car. All three national car companies were mooted by our then Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. In the early days, both Proton and Perodua were in every sense, a na


Sep 6, 2020

China’s Hisense to buy over Japan’s automotive A/C supplier Sanden

China’s white goods manufacturer Hisense Home Appliances Group will acquire Japan’s automotive air-conditioning manufacturer Sanden for JPY 21.4 billion (about RM 809.7 million). The move will allow Hisense to diversify into the automotive air-conditioning system market. Hisense has ambitions to manufacture air-conditioning units for electric vehicles. In an announcement by Sanden made earlier this week, the company says Hisense will acquire 75 percent of voting rights in the company for 21.4 bi


Mar 9, 2021

Hyundai-Kia’s 80% market share worries Korea, Malaysia indifferent with Proton/Perodua

In the first two months of 2021, the Hyundai Motor Group (HMG)’s domestic cars market share in Korea, including that of Kia, reached 78.5 percent. After including imported cars, the combined market share of Hyundai and Kia in Korea stands at 65.4 percent. In 2015, when there was more competition from other domestic manufacturers like Renault-Samsung, GM Korea, and Ssangyong, HMG’s domestic car market share stood 12 percent lower, at 66.5 percent. The Korean government, along with several academi


Mar 16, 2021

Customs: Tan Chong owes RM 180 million in excise tax

Tan Chong Motor Assemblies (TCMA), the manufacturing subsidiary of Tan Chong Motor Holdings (TCMH), has been slapped with a bill of demand by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, asking for RM 180,105,596.86 in unpaid taxes. In an announcement made to Bursa Malaysia earlier, the listed parent company TCMH said: “The Board of Directors would like to announce that Tan Chong Motor Assemblies Sdn Bhd (“TCMA”), a subsidiary of the Company, has on 22 May 2020 received bills of demand dated 15 May 2


May 27, 2020

Less choices for consumers as Toyota and Honda decline, Proton/Perodua extend lead

Over the next 5 years, the new normal for the Malaysian car market will eventually see less choices for consumers as the Big-3 Japanese car makers – Toyota, Honda, Nissan – retreat and cede ground to Proton and Perodua, whose upcoming range of models are more than a match against alternatives from Toyota and Honda. The Proton X70 has already eroded Honda Malaysia's sales, though it's still the No.1 non-national brand here. The Proton X50 will certainly suppress Honda’s progress even further. The


Feb 8, 2021