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Revised policy to allow more car models in M'sia

Publication Date : 04-09-2012

 

The revised National Automotive Policy (NAP) of Malaysia, which aims to liberalise the local automotive industry, will encourage an open market and allow greater availability of vehicle models with the latest technologies in the country, said Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) chief executive officer Madani Sahari.

“Within certain segments of our local automotive industry, there is domination by certain models,” he said.

Madani said the NAP would allow greater market forces through its policies to liberalise the local automotive sector, such as the emphasis to make Malaysia a regional, if not global, energy efficient vehicles (EEVs) hub.

“With EEVs in Malaysia, existing players both local and foreign will face stiff competition. These (EEV players) are original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that are producing (EEVs) in their country of origin.”

EEVs are vehicles that meet a set of defined specifications in terms of emission level and energy usage including fuel efficient vehicles on ICE technologies, hybrid, electric vehicles and alternatively fuelled vehicles such as compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen and fuel cell.

Last month, StarBiz reported that three China-based automotive companies were close to making Malaysia their EEV base of operations for the region. Madani said the authorisation for EEVs in Malaysia would be based on a single standard.

“There will be one standard for EEVs in Malaysia and it will comply with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) World Forum on Harmonisation of Motor Vehicles Regulations (WP 29). With this implementation, the safety aspect of cars in Malaysia will systematically be enhanced,” said Madani.

The MAI is an agency under the international trade and industry ministry (MITI) that was established as the focal point and coordination centre for the development of the local automotive industry.

Madani pointed out that the NAP was aligned with the government's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and is aimed at creating a “quantum leap” for the local automotive industry players to move forward and face global automotive challenges of the future.

“The objective of the revised NAP is to create a competitive automotive business atmosphere in Malaysia,” he said.

Madani said that with the latest standards and the emphasis to make Malaysia an EEV hub, Malaysians would be able to have access to models with the latest technologies.

“Today, items such as airbags, global positioning systems (GPS) and anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are naturally included in all cars in other countries. In Malaysia, it's not, and these are not even high-tech items.”

Madani also said the NAP would standardise the local automotive after-market industry.

“This industry has a direct impact on the consumer. We need to set proper systems to standardise all of the stakeholders in the after-market that includes workshops (independent ones or those directly under OEMs), tyres and accessories shops, spare parts centres (new and used parts) and car dealers.

“The NAP focuses to give consumers greater benefits that include costs transparency, enhanced level of repair and services with proper procedures and qualification of mechanics, spare parts standardisation, insurance coverage and others,” he said.

Madani pointed out that the independent dealers received lower insurance coverage, causing customers to eventually pay a higher price for their services.

As part of the government's goal to ensure safety, Madani said the NAP also proposed for a policy regarding the inspection of vehicles exceeding a certain number of years in Malaysia.

“This policy is to ensure good road-worthiness of your vehicle and the inspection will be based on a single, globalised standard.”

He said this policy is aimed at educating consumers on the importance of inspecting their cars on a regular basis.

“It will not be a mandatory procedure as we need to ensure that there is sufficient infrastructure to carry out the checks and cost structure for consumers to inspect their cars need to be competitive," said Madani.

 

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