The Star (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia) - Several China-based automotive companies have expressed interests to tie up with local players to fast track their presence into Malaysia based on expectations that the revised National Automotive Policy (NAP) would liberalise the local automotive sector.
A source familiar with the matter said priority would be given to companies with energy efficient vehicles (EEVs) capabilities - an area that the Government is emphasising to turn the country into an EEV hub.
"There are a number of players from China that are keen to tie up with Malaysian car companies. But not all can adhere to the Government's EEV standards," the source told StarBiz.
According to earlier reports, policies under the revised NAP are expected to include initiatives that would turn Malaysia into an EEV hub and liberalise the below 1,800cc segment to make it more attractive for new players.
"It does not matter if the potential player specialises in petrol or diesel. We have several interested Chinese parties but they are not up to the Government's EEV standards," the source said, adding that one potential Chinese automotive company had been identified to manufacture right-hand-drive vehicles for the region.
According to the Malaysian Automotive Association, Chery sold some 3,000 units in Malaysia last year. – AFP
"It's still in the preliminary stages," the source said.
EEVs are vehicles that meet a set of defined specification in terms of emission level and energy usage including fuel-efficient vehicles, hybrid, electric vehicles and alternatively fuelled vehicles such as compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen and fuel cell.
The 1,800cc segment is the largest vehicle sub-segment in Malaysia, constituting 90% of the total passenger vehicles market. Only a handful of China-based car companies are operating in Malaysia. Among the top selling Chinese car companies in Malaysia are Chery and Dong Feng.
According to data from the Malaysian Automotive Association, Chery sold some 3,000 units in Malaysia last year while Dong Feng registered 19 units. Chery's models include the Eastar, Tiggo and A5. Dong Feng meanwhile and distributes heavy commercial and industrial vehicles.