KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) today lauded the merger between UMW Holdings Berhad and Sime Darby Berhad calling it a step towards strengthening Malaysia's automotive sector.

PNB said the merger was in line with the government's New Industrial Plan 2030 and would boost the nation's push to have more battery electric vehicles (BEV) or fully electric cars.

“The consolidation of two leaders in the automotive industry is driven by the opportunities to strengthen our local and regional presence in the automotive sector while providing a boost to the electrification agenda, which is expected to drive investment growth, enhance efficiency, and create value for our unit holders.

“This strategic move is also in alignment with the government's New Industrial Master Plan 2030, which will support the automotive sector’s further growth especially in positioning the country as the automotive hub for the region,” PNB said in a statement this afternoon.


Sime Darby is acquiring a 61.2 per cent stake in UMW from PNB for RM3.57 billion in cash, to further scale up and strengthen its presence in the Malaysian automotive sector.

The move will strategically transform Sime Darby into a leading automotive player in the country with the addition of high-volume mass-market brands, Toyota and Perodua, capturing up to 60 per cent of domestic automotive total industry volume.

According to research firm Counterpoint Technology Market Research, the first quarter this year has shown only 2.4 per cent of battery electric vehicles (BEV) or fully electric cars sold in six South-east Asian countries were in Malaysia.


The research said that more of the passenger cars sold in these six countries are now electric cars, with BEVs accounting for 3.8 per cent in total vehicle passenger vehicle sales in Q1 2023, as compared to just 0.3 per cent one year ago.

In Malaysia’s Budget 2023, the government proposed various tax incentives to promote the use of electric vehicles (EV) and support the EV industry, including giving a full income tax exemption on statutory income from the assessment year of 2023 to 2032 for EV charging equipment manufacturers.

Budget 2023 had also seen the government proposing to give companies renting non-commercial EV a tax deduction of up to RM300,000 on the rental amount for the assessment year 2023 until 2025.