Dr M again says new national car vital to auto industry

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (centre) launches the Malaysia Autoshow 2019 in Serdang April 11, 2019. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (centre) launches the Malaysia Autoshow 2019 in Serdang April 11, 2019. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

SERDANG, April 11 — Putrajaya’s mission to create a new national car brand is crucial to further development of Malaysia’s transport sector, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad asserted today.

He said the exports of Malaysian cars and components in 2018 that reached RM2 billion and RM12 billion, respectively, demonstrated the importance of the automotive industry to the larger economy.

“There are 27 car-makers in Malaysia, which consist of both national and international brands. There are also over 700 vendors, 53,000 distributors, seller, and service centres, as well as over 700,000 individuals working in the automotive and mobility sectors.

“The automotive sector could generate spin-offs for the Malaysian economy for it to be aligned with global developments,” said Dr Mahathir at the launch of the Malaysia Autoshow 2019 at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS), here today, which is the largest annual Autoshow in Asean.

Dr Mahathir said a new national car project would spark a technology cluster as well as promote learning of the latest automotive engineering technologies.

He also said the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) is reviewing the National Automotive Policy, in which he said the revised policy would be inclusive of the automotive ecosystem and supported by new technologies.

These include concepts such as the Next Generation Vehicle (NXGV), Mobility as a Service (MaaS), Industrial Revolution 4.0, and Artificial Intelligence.

“The policy will be holistic which includes the comprehensive development of the automotive industry,” he in his opening speech.