KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 ― Since the introduction of duty exemptions for electric vehicles (EVs) in Budget 2022, scheduled launches of new EV models have picked up pace, “which is a positive in building up demand for EVs and the supporting infrastructure,” according to MIDF Research.

Within the EV space, the research outfit believes “the opportunities will be mainly in brand and model expansion within the next 12 months given lack of domestic representation and limited offerings currently.”

Hence, the research house has maintained a  positive call on the automotive sector with a “buy” recommendation for its top sector picks, namely  Bermaz Auto at the target price of RM1.98 per share, UMW at RM4.35, and MBM at RM3.87.

“We think Smart Automobile will likely maintain Smart as a premium brand, as per Geely’s statement in it cooperating with Mercedes which is to transform the Smart brand into a leading player in urban premium, electric and connected vehicles,” it said in a research note, in reference to the EV.

“While the premium price segment is not exactly a natural market for Proton, we think this venture will serve as a learning curve in managing marketing, sales and after-sales of EVs and provision of necessary infrastructure. At this juncture, there are no plans to locally assemble the Smart model yet,” it continued.

Proton (via Proton Edar) has been appointed the importer, distributor and dealer for the Smart brand EV in Malaysia and Thailand. ― Bernama