Malaysian Pay the Highest Car Prices in the World

If you shop for a new cars like Toyota Vios, Honda Civic etc, you would immediately notice that we are paying highest car prices in the world due to our abnormally high import duties on foreign cars.

Beside paying for higher price  for car, soon we would also pay for higher Petrol price.

By  1st May  2010, Malaysians Not all Malaysians will get to enjoy subsidized petrol as it will follow the engine capacity and other factors such as socio-economy. It another word some Malaysians will pay for Petrol at Market Price.

Read more about Petrol Hike|Two Price Structures for Petrol from May 1


Car has become a necessity  and no more a luxury due to the current public transport condition.

There has been  a lot of proposal to improve urban public transport and step done to further encourage the people to use public transportation. But there are still a lot of room of improvement.

Therefore Most people have not much practical choice but to own cars!

As a result, we are face with traffic congestion and horrendous air-pollution.

Some car owners even take a nine-year loan just to pay off for a basic car.

Car also has the highest depreciation value between the first and second year and one of the biggest liability for average wage earner.


Do you know how much Tax you are paying for a foreign Car?

By comparing car price  between Malaysian mainland and duty free Island of Langkawi, you can clearly see how much Car Vehicle Taxes the Government is extracting from the car buyer.


Malaysian mainland car buyer paid almost additional 38% compare those at duty free Island of Langkawi.

The Government take about RM23,000.00 in taxes for every imported car that is sold in the country. This would add to billions of ringgit.

Most of this taxes money goes to the Government in the form of taxes and duties and also to pay for the Approved Permits(AP). AP is needed to import these cars.

According to the book “Thing in Common” by Syed Akbar Ali, AP is a Useless Pieces of paper which do not add any value to the car or to the people.

They are  just a method of skimming money from the people!

He also wrote these taxes are being imposed to protect outdated national car industry and to benefit a few privileged people who have access to APs to import cars.

Highly protectionist policy in the car industry should be reduce and without competition from freely imported cars, the car prices in Malaysia have rocketed sky high.


Malaysians are Now Paying Petrol Tax


Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad revealed today the government has stopped subsidising petrol since Nov 1 and has been effectively collecting taxes instead on petrol consumption.

Speaking to reporters in Parliament, he explained that even after the 15-sen drop today, which saw RON97 petrol dropping to RM2 per litre, and RON92 and diesel down to RM1.90, the government was no longer subsidising petrol at the pumps.

“Even if prices return to RM1.92, we will still have a bit of surplus,” he said, adding that subsidies had disappeared once the global price of oil had dipped under US$65 per barrel.

Current prices are hovering at US$55 per barrel.

As oil companies take a 19-sen cut and fuel station operators take 12 sen, it can be inferred that the cost price of RON97 petrol is currently below RM1.61 if the government can still generate income at RM1.92.

Shahrir explained that the difference between petrol pump prices and the cost plus commission for the companies and operators was being returned to the government effectively as a form of tax.

This gels with the 2009 Budget winding-up speech by Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak where he claimed a projected RM7 billion savings in fuel subsidies will be utilised to stimulate the troubled economy.

The statement was puzzling as the government had earlier said it would maintain a 30-sen fuel subsidy to keep pump prices below market prices.

Shahrir also projected that with RM21 billion budgeted for fuel subsidies in 2009 and subsidies for 2007, when prices had averaged US$65 per barrel, amounting to RM8.8 billion, savings from fuel subsidies would be far more than RM7 billion.

“If crude oil stays under US$60 per barrel, I am expecting at least RM10 billion,” he said.

He also added that subsidies for diesel and natural gas are still in place.

Shahrir, however, explained that this did not mean that the people were not being helped by the government.

“We are still giving the RM625 road tax rebate for cars and RM150 for motorbikes that goes straight into your pocket,” he said, referring to the rebate announced when RON97 shot up to RM2.70.

“So the rebate is for when the people suffered for about three months,” he said.

The Johor Baru MP had called a press conference to announce that a total cost of RM21.4 billion had been incurred by the government up to October this year due to tax exemptions and subsidies for fuel against RM16.2 billion last year.

This, however, is without tax exemption figures for October 2008.

He also said that government would consider a floor price for fuel.

Ample time to adjust to AP system

Car manufacturers must strategise to face new chapter in its abolishment

LOCAL car manufacturers have ample time to adjust and strategise on ways to face the new chapter of the national automotive industry with the open market and abolishment of the Approved Permits (AP) system in 2015.

This is the view of economists and research analysts on the government’s decision to do away with the controversial AP system as part of its National Automotive Policy (NAP) review.

Minister of International Trade and Industy Datuk Mustapa Mohamed announced yesterday that the government will scrap the AP system for the import of completely-knocked-down (CKD) vehicles whereby open APs for used vehicles will be terminated by Dec 31, 2015, which means importation of used vehicles using the AP
permit would no longer be allowed after 2015.

“No new applications for open APs will be considered and franchise APs will be terminated by Dec 31, 2020,” he said.

Rating Agency Malaysia’s chief economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng said,  “The timeframe appears to be a bit long but it will also be good for local industry players to adapt to the changes coming their way and also buy them some time to strategise before they face the changes.”

He added that local car manufacturers will have to be more competitive and improve their quality to attract more local consumers.

“They will have to be more creative in order to obtain more local consumers in the industry and thus they will have to raise their competitiveness for a long term sustainability,” he said.

Malay Mail also spoke to Amelia Arshad, a senior analyst with Inter Pacific Research who felt that it will be a long wait for consumers and the AP system should have been abolished a long time ago.

“The industry will not be affected, as many of the local manufacturers are engaged in collaboration with other foreign car manufacturing companies,” she said.

The time, she said, is right for the country to move on and make new changes that will not only benefit the industry but also the consumers.

Amelia said that under the new reviewed measure of the NAP there are some good measures such as having an establishment of a gazetted price for imported used CBU motor vehicles.

“This will help to stop the underdeclaration of imported used-cars and abuse of the AP system.” she said.

The government had earlier proposed to end APs by 2010 but the deadline was extended.  Under the NAP review announced yesterday, there are 18 new policies and measures covering licencing, duties, incentives, technology and environment, safety and standards and also APs introduced under the NAP review.

New policies and measures will be effective from Jan 1, 2010.

Urban Public Transport Enhanced By 2012

Highlights of the Government Transformation Programme Roadmap towards improving urban public transport:

*Increasing the percentage of overall utilisation of public transport from 10 to 13 per cent in 2010.

*Raising the number of public transport users from 240,000 to 265,000 this year.

*Increasing the accessibility and communication of the overall percentage of the population residing within 400 meters of the public transport route from 63 per cent to 75 per cent.

The government’s main target is to improve the standard of public transport at the main population centres in Malaysia, beginning with increasing the use of public transport during peak hours, that is, from 7am to 9am by 25 per cent in the Klang Valley in 2012, and subsequently in Penang and Johor Baharu.

Efforts to improve urban public transport services would also be emphasised including improving reliability by focusing on punctuality of the services and subsequently reducing journey time.

In addition, the quality of the journey four users of public transport in terms of comfort and convenience would also be enhanced by ensuring that the rakyat get easy access to public transport and providing adequate transportation capacity for existing and new passengers.

Five important measures that have been identified to improve public transportation between 2009 and 2012 were coordination of the capacity of systems which had reached their limit, that is, by raising the capacity of the KTM Komuter and LRT by between 1.7 and four times.

In order to attract more people to use public transportation, the ticket and fare structure for public transport would be integrated and about 6,800 additional parking bays would be provided at 14 major rail stations. Feeder bus services to the rail stations would be improved while stations with high traffic volume would be upgraded.


AP for state reps: Miti sec-gen explains


Explaining about recent government decision to grant Approved Permits (AP) to assemblypersons, Ministry of International Trade and Industry secretary-general Abdul Rahman Mamat denies widespread AP abuse by MPs and vows action against any misuse.


71 Responses to “Malaysian Pay the Highest Car Prices in the World”

  1. Proton Q1 earnings up 55% on higher sales volume

    SHAH ALAM: Proton Holdings Bhd posted a 55% higher net profit of RM84.7mil for the first quarter ended June 30 from RM54.56mil it gained a year ago due to higher sales volume and improved profit margins from better product mix.

    It told Bursa Malaysia yesterday that revenue grew 24% to RM2.3bil for the period against RM1.85bil in the previous corresponding period while earnings per share was 15.4 sen versus 9.9 sen a year ago.

    Meanwhile, at a media briefing yesterday to announce the group’s first quarter results, group managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said Proton’s domestic sales grew 17% over the last three months compared with the corresponding period in 2009.

    “The growth is largely attributed to a better range of products and the increasing demand for three core models – the Saga, Persona and Exora,” he said.

    Factors that contributed to the improved performance included the ability to take advantage of good market conditions, operational efficiency, delivering what the customers wanted and shorter turn-around time for introduction of new models and variants.

    He also cited ongoing efforts to rationalise the network of dealers and suppliers and vehicles that were of higher quality.

    For the quarter under review, Proton saw a 40% growth in revenue from the service and spare parts business compared with the previous corresponding period.

    The company aims to step up its marketing campaigns to increase sales.

    In the pipeline are replacements for its Waja and Persona models, introduction of a new small car and a hybrid car.

    Proton wants to focus on completely-knocked-down operations and expand its overseas operation, especially in Iran and India.

    It currently earns RM300mil in revenue from exports.

    Moving forward, Syed Zainal remained optimistic of Proton car sales continuing its upward trend.

    “The increasing purchasing trend for more fuel efficient vehicles augurs well for Proton’s current and the future range of models planned for the rest of the year.

    “They will not only extend good fuel economy and low cost of ownership, but at the same time are practical, reliable and stylish,” he said.

    On the proposed consolidation of Proton and Perodua, he said the move could benefit the industry and the group would continue to engage with the Government on the matter.

  2. AmBank aims to give out RM500m car loans in 2010

    KUALA LUMPUR: AmBank (M) Bhd aims to disburse about RM500mil car loans this year, a 2% growth of its total hire-purchase receivables of about RM24bil.

    Managing director (retail banking) Datuk Mohamed Azmi Mahmood said although it was 2%, it was a big amount because “we have a big base of RM24bil.”

    As Malaysia’s No. 1 car financier, AmBank had about 20% share of the car loan market currently, he told reporters on the sidelines of the AmBank-Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show 2010 (KLIMS ‘10) signing ceremony.

    Asked how the bank proposed to sustain its market share, Mohamed Azmi said: “We will continue to do better things, faster service and offering better products.

    “AmBank has always been strong in car financing and still is. Of the 10 cars financed out there, two are financed by AmBank.”

    On AmBank’s participation in KLIMS ‘10, Mohamed Azmi said it was a valuable platform for the group to showcase its products and services as most of the expected visitors fit its target profile. “The visitors consist of urban professionals and top-level senior executives. About 95% of them are car owners,” he said.

    Organised by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), KLIMS ‘10 will play host to major carmakers and distributors, concept cars, supercars, car accessories, car-care products and performance parts, all under one roof.

    Scheduled to be held from Dec 3 to 12, Ambank will be the official bank for the event, which is expected to attract more than 330,000 visitors.

    “The automotive industry is looking buoyant and positive since the first half of this year.

    “The 10th Malaysia Plan and New Economic Model elements seem to be working their magic. The floor spaces are currently being snapped up and more brands are coming to participate this year,” MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said, adding that national carmaker Proton would be the largest exhibitor this year

  3. Maybank to drive car loans growth

    SHAH ALAM: Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) expects to take pole position in terms of market share for motor vehicle loans within the next three years.

    Consumer finance head Ashraf Ali Kadir said currently the bank’s share was about 18% behind AmBank.

    “We were in the fourth position four years ago with only 14% market share. The potential is still there,” he told reporters after the launch of the New Straits Times-Maybank Car of the Year 2010 Award yesterday.

    For the current financial year ending June 30, 2011, Maybank is looking at a 12% growth for its car loans, he said.

  4. Vehicle sales unlikely to be revised downward

    PETALING JAYA: Despite a slower pace of economic growth in the second half-year, sales of vehicles are unlikely to fall although it will not be as good as in the first half.

    Analysts who spoke to StarBizWeek said they were unlikely to revise their sales figures downward for the year.

    “My estimates are already quite conservative,” AmResearch Sdn Bhd analyst Hafriz Hezry said.

    Malaysian Automotive Association president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said a month ago that total industry volume for the year could well be above 570,000 units compared with 536,905 units last year and all-time high of 552,316 in 2005.

    Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said in mid-August that there was a “good deal of uncertainty on the horizon” with the country’s economic growth moderating although not to levels that would be worrying.

    Hafriz said it was not entirely inconceivable that auto sales would be slower since hire-purchase rates were higher following three rate hikes in benchmark interest rates and a cut in petrol subsidy this year.

    “There’ll be some impact although it will not be very much,” he said, adding that sales would hinge on new models coming into the market by the year-end, underlying demand and a shift in market share.

    “Underlying demand was strongest in the first half but this is tapering off,” Hafriz said.

    He said sales would likely be supported by the new Myvi model, which would be launched towards the end of the year.

    Affin Securities Sdn Bhd analyst Chong Lee Len said sales for the first seven months of 2010 were quite strong compared with last year, rising about 20% year-on-year.

    “I’m not likely to revise my sales figures downward as I’ve factored in the slower economic growth,” she added.

    Chong said that for 2011, vehicle sales would likely grow 3% to 4% compared with this year. “This is a comfortable rate for a matured market like Malaysia,” she said.

  5. Hari Raya boost for vehicle sales in August

    Orders likely to be higher than July’s, say car companies

    PETALING JAYA: Local automotive companies are optimistic that vehicle sales in August would be boosted by the Hari Raya holidays next week.

    Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) managing director Aminar Rashid Salleh said he expected sales for August to be better or at least match its July 2010 sales of 16,500 units.

    “July was a good month for us in terms of sales and bookings, as many customers wanted their cars delivered before Hari Raya. Many customers also pre-booked their vehicles last month to continue to enjoy the old interest rates,” he told StarBiz in an e-mail.

    Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd managing director and chief executive officer Toru Takahashi said as August was a pre-Hari Raya/Ramadan period, he expected sales to match those of July, where the company recorded its highest monthly sales of 4,586 units.

    The Malaysian Automotive Association will announce total vehicle sales for August later this month. In a statement last month, it said sales volume for August was expected to be slightly better than July due to a rush for deliveries in conjunction with the festive season, which would be supported by higher production.

    Motor vehicle sales for July rose 3% to 53,482 units versus 51,967 units in the same month last year.

    None of the players said vehicle sales in August would be affected by the Hungry Ghost festival, a period businesses are known to experience a slight slowdown.

    “During the Hungry Ghost month, which is usually around August, people – especially the Chinese – don’t buy cars,” said an industry observer. “People see the month as a time to mourn rather than to rejoice so they stave off purchasing big-ticket items such as cars or houses. Many also do not get married during the auspicious month.”

    “The Hungry Ghost festival will have a minimal impact on vehicle sales for August,” Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn Bhd executive director Datuk Dr Ang Bon Beng said.

    “We forecast August sales to be higher than July in view of pre-Hari Raya purchase.”

    He added that sales during the pre-Hari Raya month, just like the the pre-Chinese New Year month, was traditionally “quite strong.”

    Aminar Rashid Salleh also said he did not expect Perodua’s sales to be affected by the Hungry Ghost belief.

    “The feedback from our sales outlets are that most of our Chinese customers have not put off their decision to purchase a vehicle during the Hungry Ghost festival. There may be a few isolated cases but generally our sales were not affected by this factor,” he said.

  6. Mitsubishi to launch highest spec Pajero

    PETALING JAYA: Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia is set to revive the Pajero name in Malaysia with the impending arrival of the fourth-generation Pajero.

    It said in a statement that Malaysia would get the highest spec Pajero available with a 3.8-litre V6 MIVEC engine that “guarantees both smoothness and power.”

    The Pajero will be launched by the end of this month and is open for bookings at official Mitsubishi Motors dealer from now onwards.

    “We at Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia are excited at the prospect of the Pajero returning to this market. It hasn’t been officially available for a long time, but many Malaysians still recognise and have high regard for the Pajero name, which is truly legendary,” said Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia chief executive officer Tetsuya Oda.

    Mitsubishi Motors has sold over 2.5 million Pajeros in over 170 countries and regions since its introduction in 1982.

  7. Lexus Malaysia has sold 1,000 units

    KUALA LUMPUR: Lexus Malaysia has sold 1,000 units of Lexus model cars since their launch at end-2006.

    “This is a big achievement for the Lexus brand as it has been around in the country for just three years and operating from only one showroom till early this year,” said president Kuah Kock Heng in a statement yesterday.

    The company has reached more than 70% of its 400 units sales target this year.

    It is also positive with its plans for the rest of the year as well.

    “With the opening of Lexus 3S centre in Penang earlier this year and at a later stage in Johor, we can achieve our sales target, hence grow our market share in the premium market segment,” he said.

    The company is a division of UMW Toyota Motor.

  8. MPV sales to surge this year powered by Alza and Exora

    PETALING JAYA: The multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) segment is expected to see the biggest growth in sales for 2010, according to automotive analysts and industry observers.

    Frost & Sullivan partner and automotive and transportation practice head for Asia Pacific Kavan Mukhtyar believes 2010 can be called the “year of the MPV.”

    “The Perodua Alza and Proton Exora are doing exceedingly well. This has resulted in a huge expansion in the MPV segment. By the end of the year, (MPV) volumes are projected to grow by more than 50% over 2009’s figure,” he told StarBiz.

    According to statistics by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), a total of 63,757 MPVs were sold in 2009, compared with 55,108 units in 2008.

    In the first half of 2010, MPV sales reached 56,843 versus 27,615 units in the previous corresponding period.

    “The MPV segment growth has far exceeded our expectations. Several consumers from the C-segment (such as the Honda Civic or Toyota Altis) are shifting to MPVs,” said Kavan.

    He said sales in the MPV segment had expanded 90% in the first seven months of the year while growth in the passenger car segment was just over 5% during the same period.

    “This shows that there has been a tangible shift in favour of MPVs due to the exciting model launches in this segment.”

    An industry observer also said that more vehicle buyers were switching to MPVs.

    “The local MPV market has seen a big boost in sales following the launch of the Proton Exora and Perodua Alza in April and November 2009 respectively.

    “The lower prices of these local MPVs also make them more attractive than most of their foreign competitors. MPVs are also more ideal for families with more than two children and want to travel comfortably,” he said.

    An analyst concurred that the MPV segment would see the biggest increase in sales this year, given the sales performance in the first six months.

    “Sales should be maintained in the second half especially with the improved economic outlook and festive seasons in the latter part of 2010.”

    Kavan said the commercial vehicle segment would have the second highest growth, exceeding 15% for the full year compared with 2009 due to increased industrial activity.

    According to MAA statistics, 50,563 commercial vehicles were sold in 2009 against 50,656 units in 2008.

    On another note, Kavan said vehicle sales in 2010 were likely to substantially exceed the initial total industry volume (TIV) forecast of 555,000 units.

    He said “2010 will certainly be an all time high year” for the Malaysian automotive industry. However, the second half should see slower growth than the first half.

    “MPV sales will begin to stabilise by the second half of 2010. The growth (in sales) of passenger cars, especially sedans (in the C and D segment), will increase due to the launch of the Kia Forte and the new Proton Waja replacement model scheduled in the fourth quarter,” he said.

    The MAA revised upwards its 2010 TIV forecast to 570,000 units from 550,000 units initially due to the stellar sales performance in the first half year.

    The TIV in the first half grew 19.8% to 301,077 units from 251,305 units in the previous corresponding period.

    The revised forecast, if achieved, means the local automotive industry is headed for a record-breaking year in terms of sales, surpassing its all-time high of 552,316 units in 2005.

  9. Vehicle makers celebrate higher sales in August

    PETALING JAYA: Motor vehicle sales for August rose 13% to 55,208 units from 48,937 in the same month last year due to a rush for deliveries for the Hari Raya celebrations that was also supported by higher production volume in July, said the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).

    As a result, year-to-date sales were up to 409,806 units from 351,846 units in the previous corresponding period, it said in a statement yesterday.

    Sales of passenger cars in August increased to 49,642 units from 44,135 in the corresponding month last year while that of commercial vehicles rose to 5,566 units from 4,802.

    MAA said sales volume for September was expected to be lower than August, due to consolidation after the rush for deliveries and clearing of back orders as well as lower production in the month of August.

    Frost & Sullivan partner and automotive and transportation practice head for Asia Pacific Kavan Mukhtyar, however, believes that sales in September 2010 would surpass the number of units sold in the previous corresponding period, which was below 50,000 units.

    “Yes , it will be higher. We estimate it will be in the region of 50,000 units.

    “The economic growth while slower than the first half of 2010 , is still quite buoyant,” he said.

  10. BMW targets to sell 4,000 cars this year

    GEORGE TOWN: BMW Group Malaysia is targeting to sell about 4,000 cars this year, compared with 3,514 in 2009.

    Managing director Geoffrey Briscoe said as of August, BMW sold 2,893 cars compared with 2,635 in the same period last year, representing an increase of 7.1%.

    “The best selling models are still the three and five-series,” he said after launching a new BMW dealership outlet in Juru Auto-City, Seberang Prai.

    The outlet, operated by Tian Siang Premium Auto, is the 15th in the country, and the second in Penang.

    “The northern region is an important market, as over 20% of the luxury car buyers in the country come from the northern region.

    “We expect a 20% growth in sales in the northern region next year and our priority will be to ensure that our ability to consistently provide premium quality services to meet the rising demand will also grow accordingly,” he said.

    BMW marque currently ranked second in the luxury car market after Mercedes Benz, he added.

    On its motorcycle business, Briscoe said BMW planned to increase sales by 30% this year from 225 units sold in 2009.

  11. AP abolishment will boost economy

    Observers say move will encourage competition

    PETALING JAYA: The abolishment of at least half of the more than 2,000 approved permits (APs) for various products, now the subject of a Cabinet paper being prepared by the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti), is likely part of wider government efforts to transform the economy.

    While details on the abolishment were thin on the ground, observers told StarBiz that this was part of the efforts to liberalise the economy and, at the same time, boost competition.

    Miti deputy secretary-general Datuk Kamaruddin Ismail had said at a dialogue with the business community in Kuching recently that APs which no longer served the purpose should be removed as the reasons for having them might no longer be valid.

    He said that Malaysia had some 10,000 tariff lines that attracted more than 2,000 APs.

    An economist with a local investment bank said this move to abolish the APs could have originated from the subsidy rationalisation lab, which was one of the the National Key Economic Area labs formed to identify opportunities and problems in the economy.

    He said areas where APs would be abolished could be for the import of cement and steel bars.

    Kamaruddin said “it is time to look at whether APs are needed for certain industries which may no longer need them.”

    He added that a paper was being prepared by Miti to be presented to the Cabinet before the end of the month following a comprehensive review of APs.

    An economist with a local brokerage said this could pave the way for more competition in the economy, which would be good in the long run.

    However, she pointed out that large parts of the economy were already liberalised with the Government also practicing for the most part an open-tender system.

    “One area the ministry should look at is the AP for importing vehicles,” she added.

    A source said the ministry would be looking at the abolishment from all angles and seek the views of various industry groups.

    “Besides the competition angle, the abolishment will help improve the government delivery system as well as making business more transparent and relevant,” he pointed out.

  12. Duty exemption on hybrid cars extended to next year

    THE import duty and excise duty exemption for buyers of hybrid cars has been extended to December next year.

    The extension of the exemption is part of the pro-environment measures under the Budget.

    Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak also said that full import duty and a 50% excise duty exemption was granted to franchise holders of hybrid cars up to Dec 31 this year.

    Other measures include an allocation of RM1.9bil for the greening of Kuala Lumpur and the River of Life Programme.

    The Government also pledged to reduce carbon emission by implementing several measures, including a programme on blending of biofuels with petroleum diesel.

    The programme will be made mandatory in Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Malacca from June next year.

    Also to be implemented is the Feed in Tariff mechanism under the Renewable Energy Act to allow electricity generated from renewable energy by individuals and independent providers to be sold to electricity utility companies.

    Tax exemption on income from trading of carbon credits or certified emission reductions will also be extended until the year of assessment 2012.

    Monitor Sustainabilty of Globa­lisation director Charles Santiago said hybrid cars would certainly reduce the carbon foodprint.

    He stressed that the Government should concerntrate on making sure that the integrated public transportation system takes off fast.

    “Reducing the number of cars with a good public transportation system is one of the most important strategies to reduce carbon emission,” he said.

    An academician from Akademi Sains Malaysia, Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Mustaffa Babjee, said the allocation of RM1.9bil was not enough for environmental development, but compared to previous budgets, Budget 2011 had a positive indicator.

    Forest Research Institute Malaysia director-general Datuk Dr Abd Latif Mohmod said the pro-green measures showed the national commitment to environment conservation.

    Shell Malaysia chairman Anuar Taib said the company would work closely with the related government agencies to realise the national biofuels (biodiesel) policy.

  13. RM226mil pooled from AP fees

    JOHOR BARU: The Government collected a total of RM225.91mil from open AP (Approved Permit) holders in the past one year, Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mukhriz Tun Mahathir said.

    He said the proceeds, from the RM10,000 fee for each open AP, would be used to implement the bumiputra development plan in the automotive sector.

    “The Government is formulating the plan, including for the open AP holders to move to other business sectors,” he told a news conference after opening Wisma Lace Motor Sdn Bhd here.

    Mukhriz said among the programmes identified was a soft loan for bumiputra entrepreneurs who are keen to venture into the automotive sub-sector or other fields of business.

  14. Vehicle sales down 6% in September

    KUALA LUMPUR: Vehicle sales in September declined by 6%, the first time this year, to 43,443 units from 46,104 units in the same month last year, according to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).

    MAA attributed the cooling-off period after the rush deliveries in the previous month for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festival and short working month in September caused sales growth to slow.

    However, between January and September, sales rose by 14% to 453,249 units compared with 397,950 units in the same period last year, it said in a statement yesterday.

    Sale of passenger vehicles in September decreased to 38,761 units from 42,073 units in September last year, while that of commercial vehicles increased to 4,682 units from 4,031 units.

    During the January-September period, passenger vehicles sales rose to 408,450 units from 361,793 units in the previous corresponding period, while sale of commercial vehicles increased to 44,799 units from 36,157 units previously.

    A total of 34,586 units were produced in September, down from 35,099 units in the same month last year, it said.

    Passenger vehicle production during the month increased to 31,797 units from 32,469 units in the same month last year while commercial vehicles rose to 2,789 units from 2,630 units.

    Between January and September, passenger vehicles production rose to 402,508 units from 325,644 units in the same period last year while that of commercial vehicles increased to 34,723 units from 30,846 units.

    As for October, vehicle sales were expected to be higher due to longer working month and market conditions returning to normalcy, it added.

  15. Lexus revises sales target upwards


    PETALING JAYA: Lexus Malaysia Sdn Bhd has revised upwards its sales target for 2010 to 410 vehicles from 400 units earlier due to better-than-expected sales for its models.

    Last month, Lexus president Kuah Kock Heng was quoted in a local news report as saying that the company was confident of achieving its sales target of 400 units for this year.

    “We will exceed that target (of 400 units) and plan to sell 410 units this year,” he said at the launch of the Lexus RX270 sports utility vehicle (SUV) yesterday.

    As at end-September, the company had already sold 338 units, with its RX350 SUV being its best seller. Since starting operations in early 2007, Lexus Malaysia has sold 1,048 Lexus vehicles to date.

    “The RX350 contributes about nearly half of our total sales,” he said.

    According to Lexus Malaysia director Harry Loo, the RX350 is the leader in the large SUV segment currently with a 33% share.

    Kuah, meanwhile, said the company was targeting to sell 140 units of the newly launched RX270 a year. He said the vehicle, a variant of the RX350, had a lower engine capacity and was more affordable (than the RX350).

    Kuah added that Lexus Malaysia had already received 10 bookings for the RX270. Loo, in a presentation, said the RX270 had better fuel economy of 10.2km per litre versus the RX350’s 9.4km per litre.

    The RX270 and RX350 start from RM340,000 and RM377,000 respectively.

    Kuah also said Lexus Malaysia would be launching its hybrid SUV, the RX450h at the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS) 2010 in December.

    On another note, Kuah, who is also UMW Toyota Sdn Bhd president, said the company would be announcing the new (lower) retail price of its Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle today (Oct 27).

    The Toyota Prius currently costs RM175,000. Under Budget 2011, the Government will grant full excise duty exemptions on hybrid cars from next year to encourage more of such cars to be sold in Malaysia

  16. 2010 car sales performance in major Asean markets

    WITH less than two months left till the end of the year, major South-East Asian markets, such as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are gearing up for a stellar 2010 as far as their respective automotive industries are concerned.

    StarBizWeek tracks how these sectors have fared in their respective markets for the first nine months of 2010, and their outlook.


    Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) president Datuk Aishah Ahmad is optimistic that total industry volume (TIV) would continue to grow at a marginal rate of 2% to 3% in 2011 versus 2010.

    “Should the country’s economy continue to improve in 2011 and the demand for motor vehicles maintains its current momentum over the next three quarters, TIV (next year) could exceed that of 2010 (and) be another record year for the local automotive industry.”

    Analysts are also upbeat about vehicle sales prospects for next year.

    “A big boost will come from the fact that excise duties on hybrid cars will be exempted effective next year and make them cheaper,” said an analyst.

    Sales going forward will also be driven by the fact that several foreign car companies (such as Peugeot, Volkswagen and China’s BYD Auto Co Ltd) have already expressed intentions to collaborate with local partners to assemble vehicles in Malaysia, which would mean more affordable cars.

    Malaysia’s TIV is slated to hit a record high of 570,000 units in 2010 due to better consumer sentiment, improvement in business confidence, and the global economic recovery. For the nine months ended September 2010, sales rose 14% to 453,249 units compared with 397,950 units in the same period last year. Aishah expects European makes to make a stronger presence here next year, with their aggressive marketing plans to bring in completely-knocked-down (CKD) models.

    “China models would make more inroads into the market and the ratio of national versus non-national makes would hover around 60:40,” she says.


    Despite the political unrest by the anti-government Red Shirts early this year, vehicle sales in Thailand are expected to rise due to robust economic growth and good demand for passenger cars.

    TIV is forecast to grow by 37% to 750,000 units in 2010 from 548,871 units last year. Among the reasons cited are the Thai government’s decision to set up industrial estates that offer tax incentives, lower import duties, one-stop visa and work permit benefits. Furthermore, multinational investors are not required to have a local partner to set up base in the country. For the nine months ended September, TIV hit 556,349 units, an increase of 52% over the same period last year.

    According to reports, Toyota remained the market leader in September with a 41.4% market share, followed by Isuzu Motors Ltd with a 17.3% share.

    Passenger car sales in September surged 46.6% to 31,401 units. Toyota had the largest share of the segment with 40.1%, followed by Honda with a 29.7% share.

    Sales of commercial vehicles, rose 35.4% to 36,860 units, with Toyota capturing 42.7% of the market, followed by Isuzu had a 34.8% share.

    Industry experts and observers in Thailand expect vehicle sales to continue rising till year-end.

    Statistically, the fourth quarter of the year is said to be the best-selling period as farmers tend to reap returns from crop sales and government spending in the new fiscal year also kicks off.

    The final quarter of the year is also when the tourism sector’s high season is said to begins.

    However, some Thai automotive experts also believe that floods in certain provinces could affect the agricultural sector and demand for vehicles.


    Indonesia is the third largest automotive market in the region after Thailand and Malaysia and according to a recent report by Frost & Sullivan, passenger vehicle sales in the country are expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 8.6% from 2010 to 2015.

    The increase was attributed to increased demand for multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs), sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and entry of low-cost economical cars. Frost & Sullivan predicts that MPVs will dominate the market in 2012 due to its low entry level price tag.

    It says the growth would also be fueled by the Indonesian government’s recent announcement to implement more regulations to attract investments in automotive production facilities and to reduce import tariffs for CKD and completely built unit (CBU) units.

    For the nine months ended September, vehicle sales in Indonesia surged 65% to 556,196 units from 337,468 units previously, according to the Indonesian Automotive Industry Association (Gaikindo). It is forecasting TIV to reach 650,000 to 700,000 units in 2010, which is up 44% from 486,060 units in 2009.

    Gaikindo attributes the forecast to strong consumer demand and wealth creation in the country.

    The domestic car segment is dominated by the Japanese makes, namely Toyota, Mitsubishi, Daihatsu, Suzuki and Honda.


    According to the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers in the Philippines (CAMPI), vehicle sales rose 36% to 126,901 units in the nine months ended September 2010 versus the same period a year ago. CAMPI expects TIV to hit between 170,000 and 175,000 units by year-end, representing a 33% growth from 2009’s 132,000 units.

    CAMPI expects sales for the last quarter to healthy as consumer and business confidence were, citing overseas Filipino worker remittances, attractive and readily available financing packages, and aggressive promotions to continue to drive vehicle sales until year-end. Sales for the nine-month period was dominated by Toyota, which sold 41,281 units for a 33% market share.

    In second place was Mitsubishi, which sold 23,998 units, followed by Hyundai with a sales volume of 15,575 units during the period.

    The 2010 target is also set to be the Philippines’ all-time high since hitting 162,000 units in 1996, prior to the 1997 / 1998 Asian financial crisis.

    According to a report by TopGear Philippines last month, it said that local manufacturers do not expect sales next year to be as strong as that of 2010.

    Ford Group Philippines president Randy Krieger was quoted as saying that he expects growth next year to be driven by an improved economy, political stability and a stable foreign exchange rate.

    Toyota Motor Philippines first vice president for sales and marketing Raymond Rodriguez was quoted as saying that he expected growth in 2011 to be sustained but “at a slower pace.”

  17. Used car sellers hit by margin squeeze

    THE local automotive industry may be on an up and up this year in terms of total industry volume, but many used car dealers feel that margins are being squeezed due to increasing competition.

    “There are already too many cars and models in town. If you look at the average classified advertisement for used cars, there are more sellers than buyers,” says a Kuala Lumpur-based used car dealer.

    Tan, a Kuala Lumpur-based used car dealer concurs, says that with new players coming into the market, there would be more vehicles in the market and competition among used car dealers or grey importers would be more intense.

    Early last month, the Government said it was evaluating the possibility of granting manufacturing licences to five foreign automotive assemblers with the view of allowing them to operate locally, and would make a decision by year-end.

    The Government already granted a manufacturing licence to Berjaya Corp Bhd, which is keen to assemble one-litre right-hand drive cars in Malaysia with China-based BYD Auto Co Ltd.

    Grey importers bring in both new or used motor vehicles and motorcycles legally from another country through channels other than the maker’s official distribution system.

    “Competition is already tough and will only get stiffer next year. With locally assembled cars, prices will be cheaper and a lot of customers, if given a choice, would prefer to buy a new vehicle than an old one.”

    Chong, a Klang Valley-based used car dealer says sales this year had been relatively flat compared with 2009.

    “Sales for the remaining months of the year are expected to be slow as customers prefer to wait for the new year so they can gain better resale value for their new cars.”

    Separately, although he says the abolishment of the open approved permit (AP) system by 2015 is a good move, he feels that it still might not happen.

    Under the reviewed National Automotive Policy (NAP) announced late October last year, the open AP policy to import used vehicles will be scrapped by Dec 31, 2015.

    Franchise APs, meanwhile, will be terminated by Dec 31, 2020.

    “I feel it’s still a question mark and will carry on,” says Chong.

    During Budget 2010 last year, the Government also proposed that open APs no longer be sold for a measly few ringgit, instead slapping a RM10,000 fee for such a document.

    “The RM10,000-fee is a burden on used car dealers as it costs about RM50,000 for an AP. If it’s a high-end car, it could cost more,” he says.

    Lam, a used-car dealer from Perak, is also looking forward to APs being abolished but is skeptical.

    “Cars in Malaysia are ridiculously expensive and it’s time that APs be abolished. But will it happen? I’ll believe it when I see it.”

    The Association of Malay Importers and Traders of Motor Vehicles Malaysia (Pekema) is, however, hopeful that APs are maintained.

    Vice-president Sharifah Noor says auto players dependent on APs will be hurt as they had invested considerable sums in the business.

    “Abolishing the APs will definitely have an impact on our members,” she says, adding that the AP system has helped create many bumiputra entrepreneurs in the automotive business.

    “The automotive business is our members’ main income stream and a springboard for them to venture into other businesses.”

    Earlier this year, it was reported that Pekema Sabah branch had asked for the review of the (RM10,000) levy charged on open APs to import used vehicles.

    Pekema Sabah had also requested the Government review the policy to end the AP system.

    Pekema Sabah chairman Rozman Isli was quoted as saying that the levy of RM10,000 for the issuance of each open AP is a burden to members, especially during the economic slowdown.

    Sharifah says Pekema is currently in talks with the Government to split payment of the RM10,000 levy into two parts to make it easier for its members.

    “It’s still being finalised,” she says.

  18. Proton MD’s vehicle end-of-life policy proposal received a lot of brickbats

    PROTON Holdings Bhd group managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir had recently called on the Government to consider the end-of-life vehicle (ELV) policy under Budget 2011 to sustain the automotive industry in the country.

    He was reported to have said that old vehicles should be taken off the roads as the total automotive industry volume had reached a saturation point. He also pointed out that it was timely for the Government to provide packages and incentives to ensure that old cars which were not safe and “green” were not on the road.

    Under the reviewed National Automotive Policy that was announced in October last year, the Government introduced mandatory annual inspections as a requirement for road tax renewal for all vehicles aged 15 years or older as a first step towards implementation of a full ELV policy.

    However, just over a week later, it made a complete U-turn on this policy following negative views and feedback from the public.

    At that time, it was reported that there were about 2.7 million passenger vehicles (or 14.5%) on the road that were more than 10 years old.

    A thorny issue

    The arguments for phasing out old cars are mainly that they are considered unsafe, that they are less green and are saturating the local automotive industry.

    One observer says: “Of course that’s what a lot of automakers will say because when people hold on to their (old) cars, these car companies are losing revenue.”

    It’s true that vehicles these days, which come with a slew of safety gadgets, are a lot more reliable and safer than cars that were available, say, 10 years ago.

    However, these safety gimmicks also come with a huge cost – Malaysian vehicles are known for being over priced, and not many people are willing to fork out thousands of ringgit for a new vehicle just because it comes with an anti-lock braking system or traction control.

    “I think if you want people to keep buying cars, you should at least reduce the price of vehicles. A lot of people hold on to their old cars because they either can’t afford a new vehicle or don’t want to be burdened with monthly loans,” says an industry observer.

    Another observer concurs: “What’s the point of having someone who doesn’t have the budget to buy a new car when they probably do not have the means to maintain it?”

    “At the end of the day, you’re back to driving a poorly maintained, hazardous vehicle.”

    Leong, a used car dealer, says the implementation of the ELV would certainly have an impact on used car sellers nationwide.

    “There are many people that go for older cars because they are much cheaper.

    “Vehicles such as the original (Perodua) Kancil or Kelisa are still favourites among students or people looking for a second or third car.

    A question of safety

    The simplest reason why some call for the removal of older cars is because of their reliability and safety.

    “Many old cars don’t comply with today’s safety standards and regulations. Some (really old ones) don’t even have safety belts. They’re just death traps on wheels,” says Ali, 30.

    Viji, 27, argues that vehicles over 20 years old were less reliable and unsafe to drive.

    “Phasing them out will actually help to reduce accidents on roads.”

    Chan, 45, a tow-truck driver, argues that the bulk of accidents involved vehicles less than 10 years old and often due to bad driving habits.

    “Many people with old cars actually take care of their cars well. It’s the younger drivers with newer cars that drive recklessly and end up getting involved in, or causing, the accidents.

    According to statistics by the Road Transport Department, there were a total of 397,330 accidents nationwide last year, with 62.2% of them caused by speeding.

    Ahmad, 51, who runs a small vintage car club in Kedah, argues that the ELV, if implemented, only focuses on age and roadworthy conditions.

    “It’s true that there are many old cars out there that are unsafe and unreliable. However, such a policy would also affect users of classic and vintage cars that are very well maintained and driven only on occasions and with caution.”

    He says a common gripe among vintage car-owners was that it was becoming increasingly difficult to insure their vehicles.

    “It’s a misconception by many insurance companies that older cars are unsafe and more likely to be in an accident. But they should know that many such car owners take care of their cars well and don’t usually drive them on a daily basis.”

    He also argues that older cars were more “solid” and sturdy compared with vehicles of today.

    “Vehicles these days are made of slim bodies and some parts are made of carbon-fibre, which is flimsy. A lot of cars these days in fact don’t offer very much protection, body-wise.

    Asked about how he felt about older cars not being up-to-date with the latest safety technologies, he says: “If that were the case, than you might as well ban motorbikes. How safe are they?”

    Reducing congestion and pollution

    For argument’s sake, if there really were about 2.7 million passenger vehicles on the road, then would getting rid of all them help solve the congestion and ultimately, the pollution problem?

    One industry observer says replacing your old car for a new one doesn’t solve the congestion problem.

    “How will it solve anything? You’re getting rid of one and replacing it with a new one. Same problem!”

    Chong, a 40-year old accountant, feels that having fewer old cars on the road would definitely ease traffic and pollution, but says that the ELV should be based on reliability and not the age of the car.

    “If you really want to reduce congestion, why not improve the public transport system? I would love to be able to take a train or even an LRT to work and back everyday.

    “I will not only save petrol cost but also reduce the wear and tear on my car,” he says.

    Chong adds that although he applauds the Government’s call to remove excise duties on hybrid cars, such vehicles were still too expensive for the average person.

    Last week, UMW Toyota Malaysia Sdn Bhd reduced the price of its hybrid car, the Toyota Prius by RM35,000 to RM139,900, in line with the Government’s tax incentive on such vehicles.

    Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd, meanwhile, has revised the price of its Honda Civic Hybrid to RM108,980 from RM129,000 previously.

  19. Car sales seen to be slower in 2011

    KUALA LUMPUR: Auto sales are expected to grow by a low single-digit percentage next year after a record-setting 570,000 units in 2010 with higher economic growth, new models and the take-up of hybrid cars driving demand.

    “Should the country’s economy continue to improve in 2011 and the demand for motor vehicles maintains its current momentum … 2011 could possibly exceed the total industry volume (TIV) of 2010 which we have forecast at 570,00 units,’’ said Malaysian Automotive Association president Datuk Aishah Ahmad.

    Competition though would be more intense. Car companies as usual will be coming out with new models and the CKD programmes of existing car makes, especially European cars, should also increase.

    Cars from China, which up to now has not really created a big dent in the sales of other makes in this country, should intensify and Aishah felt the ratio between national and non-national makes should hover around 60:40.

    “TIV would continue to grow but at a marginal rate of 2% to 3%% in 2011 versus 2010,’’ she said.

    Analysts said it would be difficult for the auto industry to replicate the boom in vehicle sales this year as the purchase of vehicles due to the replacement cycle, cheap financing, newer models and pent-up demand would have exhausted much of the momentum heading into this year.

    Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn Bhd executive director Datuk Dr Ang Bon Beng said that with economic growth forecast for next year still at a robust 6%, he expected positive consumer sentiment and reasonable interest rates to remain favourable for the automotive industry.

    “Next year will be very exciting as many new models will be introduced by auto players. We expect a 2% growth on TIV,’’ he said.

    Frost & Sullivan consultant Ahmad Faridz Dzulkarnain said that with Malaysian manufacturers heavily dependent on the domestic market and the high motorisation rate of 290 cars per 1,000 people, the country’s vehicle sales growth rate would be slower compared to neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Indonesia, which had much lower motorisation rate.

    “Although Malaysia is not really reaching its saturation point just as yet, the vehicle sales growth is likely to be at a much slower pace than before,’’ he said.

    Based on the National Automotive Policy and the Budget 2011 announcement, Ahmad said it was clear that efforts were being made towards promoting green vehicle technologies, especially hybrid and electric vehicles.

    “While vehicle sales are likely to remain positive and fairly buoyant for 2011, vehicle productions are also expected to increase with the entry of new vehicle manufacturers and assemblers, especially in the hybrid/electric vehicle segments,’’ he said.

    “Higher penetration rate and sales of hybrids are expected for 2011, boosted by the anticipated entry of new hybrid models as well as increased sales of existing models such as Civic and Prius. In fact, we could even probably see next year as the year of hybrids.’’

    UMW Toyota Motor president Kuah Kock Heng felt the removal of subsidies for petrol and diesel might affect vehicles with higher engine capacity.

    “To cope with higher fuel prices, consumers may opt for smaller engine capacity vehicles or more fuel-efficient vehicles such as the hybrid,’’ he said.

    The emerging trend of higher MPV sales should keep its momentum. Although growth is not expected to be as robust as this year, Kuah anticipates MPVs, which accounted for 12% of TIV, to double its share of total car sales over the medium term.

    “Another factor that may affect demand is higher purchase interest rates, which increases the costs of vehicle ownership. If rates move higher, overall disposable income of consumers are reduced and this will affect their purchase decisions,’’ he said.

    Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd head of sales and marketing Takeshi Hirano said higher economic growth would encourage the purchase of cars which is the second biggest ticket items for households.

    He anticipated growth in the small car or compact car segment and expected consumers to shift towards fuel-efficient vehicles and technologies such as hybrid vehicles.

  20. Record car sales likely next year

    Automotive industry has room to improve, says Perodua MD

    PETALING JAYA: Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) managing director Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh expects vehicle sales in Malaysia to hit a new high in 2011.

    “I believe that TIV (total industry volume) will reach 600,000 units next year based on the growing number of new car buyers and a healthy economy,” he told StarBiz.

    Aminar said the local automotive industry still had a good growth potential despite sceptics arguing otherwise.

    “Some might say that the automotive industry in Malaysia is a sunset industry, but I beg to differ. I believe that the industry has a lot of room to grow.

    “The TIV in Malaysia has averaged about 500,000 units in the last decade and it would be easy to assume that the average would stay that way, but that is just not true.”

    Aminar said Malaysia had a growing young population that would drive new vehicle sales.

    “Malaysia is a young country, with 60% of its population between the ages of 15 and 64, while 30% are below 15 years of age. The demographic suggests that the number of car buyers will increase over time as a personal vehicle is still needed due to an inadequate public transportation system.”

    He also said the Government’s intention of transforming the nation into a high-income economy via the New Economic Model (NEM) would benefit the local automotive sector.

    “We believe this will also help boost automotive sales as consumers will buy cars to reflect their status as income, especially disposable income, rises.”

    From January to September, TIV rose 14% to 453,249 units compared with 397,950 units in the same period last year. The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has forecast TIV for 2010 to hit 570,000, its highest ever since reaching 552,316 units in 2005.

    For next year, MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said TIV was expected to grow at a marginal rate of 2% to 3% from 2010.

    Industry observers and analysts also expect sales of hybrid vehicles to improve next year following the Government’s decision to remove excise duties on such vehicles effective Jan 1.

    Aminar said the automotive industry’s 2010 year-to-date sales performance had been “very encouraging.”

    “If we annualise that number we will have an average of 151,100 vehicles per quarter. That means that the TIV potential (for 2010) is 604,400 units!

    “However, the fourth quarter has always seemed to slow down a bit and, taking that into account, we believe that total TIV (2010) will range from 580,000 to 590,000 units.”

    Aminar said Perodua was confident of achieving its sales target of 185,000 units this year. According to reports, the national carmaker expects to sell 190,000 vehicles in 2011.

    On what was needed to improve the automotive industry, Aminar said the Government should keep to its plans under the National Automotive Policy (NAP) as it would give the auto players a solid path to strategise their long-term plan properly.

    “The NAP also gives the automotive vendors precious time to gradually increase their competitiveness in terms of cost management, further improve their quality level as well as productivity and efficiency to be on par with their international counterparts.

    “This will allow them to be able to export their products to other international players and not just rely on domestic players.”

    Aminar also said any trade barriers in the automotive industry should be removed at a gradual pace and not suddenly.

    “If all the trade barriers were abolished overnight then you would see resale value of cars plummet. This will devastate not only the resale market but new car sales as well as many car buyers usually trade in their vehicles.

    “The customers with existing loans will find it difficult to settle as the value of their cars would be greatly diminished. It would be better if the current barriers were removed gradually over time to lessen any impact.”

  21. National Automotive Policy to be implemented in phases, says Mustapa

    The implementation of the revised National Automotive Policy (NAP) will not be rushed but will be done in stages, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said.

    He said the government has already started the implementation of the revised policy since June 2012, and many more initiatives will be announced in due course.

    “The revision includes incentives for production of energy-efficient vehicles and recently, Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd benefited from the revised NAP.

    “We are currently talking to two or three more car makers to provide them with similar incentives, and to promote Malaysia as a regional hub for production of energy-efficient vehicles,” Mustapa told reporters after attending a Hari Raya Open House organised by his ministry here on Monday.

    On July 20, Honda announced a RM1bil expansion drive, which includes the car maker manufacturing hybrid vehicles locally, making it the first non-national automotive manufacturer to produce hybrid vehicles in the country.

    Before this, it was reported that UMW Toyota had also expressed interest to assemble its hybrid models in Malaysia.

    Asked whether the NAP will be one of the highlights in the upcoming Budget 2013, Mustapa said: “I do not think so. The Budget is very early and I doubt on an announcement by then.”