Malaysia Automotive Association (MAA) President Datuk Aishah Ahmad lead the MAA Press Conference at Ara Damansara Selangor

Malaysia Automotive Association (MAA) President Datuk Aishah Ahmad lead the MAA Press Conference at Ara Damansara Selangor

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AUTOMOTIVE players in the country are pinning their hopes on the upcoming National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP2020) to push the industry further onto the global scene hinged on automotive technology to ensure manufacturers stay competitive.

Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) president Datuk Aishah Ahmad (picture) said the NAP will seek to provide greater depth into making the next-generation vehicle (NxGV) under IR4.0.

“We are looking at the NxGV, the future and how that type of vehicle should be manufactured and assembled in Malaysia. It is important that we know the direction, focus and incentives to move forward with the policy,” Aishah told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) yesterday.

She said the NAP2020 shall be designed to position Malaysia competitively among neighbouring countries, such as Thailand and Indonesia, to be a champion in NxGV.

Aishah added that the growth of hybrid and fully electric cars in Malaysia also hinges on the new automotive blueprint.

The absence of non-standardised incentives, interpretation differences and broad policies over energy-efficient vehicles (EEVs) are viewed to have stuttered investments into one of the fastest growing segments in the auto industry.

The EEV programme forms a key component in the country’s NAP2014.

But industry players argue that there have been different interpretations and specifications from various government agencies on what is considered an EEV.

Hybrid vehicles’ sales declined from 20,744 units in 2018 to 13,049 last year, while 32 electric vehicles were sold in 2019 compared to two units in the previous year, according to statistics announced by the MAA recently.

Aishah added that automakers are also anticipating clarity on the “national car” term which would help original equipment manufacturers in the country plan their new car development.

Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd analyst Wan Mustaqim Wan Ab Aziz said NAP2020 is set to be a confidence booster for investors in the local automotive market.

“NAP2020 will better outline the automotive industry with new initiatives that should entice investments by firms and carmakers,” Wan Mustaqim told TMR yesterday.

The much delayed NAP2020 will be announced by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad this Friday.

The International Trade and Industry Ministry said the new automotive blueprint is formulated to elevate Malaysia’s automotive industry to the next phase of industrial competitiveness, in line with the changing landscape of mobility in the global markets.

The new national automotive framework will be implemented in three phases until 2030, according to the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute CEO Datuk Madani Sahari.

Besides NxGV, the new policy is expected to include provision on mobility-as-a-service (MaaS). This is a concept of integrating various types of transport services to centralised mobility services.

The rise of MaaS will revolutionise how people move from point A to point B where services are connected to transportation and a strong 5G network is a must in connected mobility.

The NAP was first introduced in 2006 to facilitate the required transformation and integration of the local automotive industry with regional and global networks within the increasingly competitive environment.

The policy was reviewed in 2009 before another revision was made in 2014, which emphasised on green initiatives and market expansion, with an ultimate objective to make Malaysia the regional EEV hub by 2020.

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