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China-based firms to hold talks on making M'sia energy efficient vehicle hub

Publication Date : 22-08-2012

 

Three China-based automotive companies are close to making Malaysia their energy efficient vehicle (EEV) base of operations for the region, a source familiar with the matter said.

“Three potential Chinese automotive companies have been identified to manufacture right-hand-drive EEV vehicles for the region and representatives from the Government will be holding talks with them later this month,” he told StarBiz.

The source added that the meeting was necessary to “validate” the capabilities of the Chinese auto firms.

“We need to know if they are serious and have the capabilities of making Malaysia a hub for their EEV operations.”

According to reports, the government, in line with intentions of liberalising the local automotive sector, is seriously looking to turn the country into an EEV hub for the region.

It has also been widely speculated that various incentives will be announced under the revised National Automotive Policy to attract foreign automotive companies with EEV capabilities.

EEVs are vehicles that meet a set of defined specification in terms of emission level and energy usage including fuel-efficient vehicles, hybrid, electric vehicles and alternatively fuelled vehicles such those using compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen and fuel cell.

In June, it was reported that Chery Malaysia, which is part of China's Chery Automobile Co, would be investing RM250mil in the country over the next five years, which would include the setting up of a production plant in Malaysia that would serve as a hub to make its right-hand-drive cars for the region.

The source added that many Chinese automotive companies had the know-how and expertise to develop hybrid vehicles.

“They are especially capable of manufacturing hybrid batteries at competitive prices. There is a good possibility that the Government may consider making the country into a hub for hybrid batteries.”

Apart from China-based companies, the source also said renowned automotive players from the United States, Japan and Europe had also expressed interests in making Malaysia their EEV hub.

He said the US-based company, which already had operations in Thailand, was looking to make Malaysia its hub for passenger EEVs.

“Thailand is more of a pick-up (truck) market but the growth potential for passenger cars is better in Malaysia.

“The American car company is looking to set up a hub here to help fast-track its global small car plans within Asean and beyond.”

 

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