KUALA LUMPUR: The government is targeting to unveil the revised National Automotive Policy (NAP) by the first quarter of next year, which would include the development of the third national car project.
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming said there were more than 20 proposals on the third national car project received to date.
The proposals, he said, ranged from individuals and the private sector to government-linked companies.
He, however, declined to name the companies and if there were proposals from foreign companies.
“The revised NAP would include the development of the third national car project,” he said at the Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Conference (KLIAC) 2018.
Ong reaffirmed that there would be no public funds and taxpayers’ money involved in the third national car project.
On the revised NAP, he said the policy was last reviewed in 2014 and it was timely to review it now.
He said the revised policy would also look into the entire automotive ecosystem underpinned by four main pillars – connected mobility, Industrial Revolution 4.0, new-generation vehicles and artificial intelligence.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said that while there was a need to focus on the future technology of the automotive industry, the government should also continue with the energy-efficient vehicle (EEV) initiative, which was emphasised in the revised NAP 2014.
She hoped that the government would continue with the incentives and other elements that have helped spur the industry.
“Moving forward, what we want to see is a long-term policy to ease investors so as to make long-term investments in our automotive industry,” she said at a press conference at KLIAC 2018.
Aishah said because of NAP 2014, there were a lot of hybrid cars on the road compared to previously.
“Previously, it was just on conventional vehicles and we feel that this is the way forward. The government holds the hand of the industry as it is a huge investment that carmakers have to make and this is where we need the assistance from the government,” she said.
Additionally, Aishah said she hoped the government would focus on developing an environment-friendly ecosystem for electric vehicles (EVs) to encourage more such cars on the roads.
“If we have an EV but we don’t have enough charging stations, it would defeat the purpose. You must have it throughout Malaysia, only then would it be feasible for electric cars to be introduced,” she added.