KUALA LUMPUR — July 30, 2018: The Malaysian Automotive Association has described the plan by the government to limit the access of foreign cars into the local market as a regressive move for the growth of the automotive industry.
Instead it believes that there should be a level playing field for local and foreign car makers, as many of these foreign cars carry a lot of local components and provide business and employment to locals.
“It is a very regressive move. I don’t think it’s right for the government to say that they want to stop all cars other than Proton to be brought into the country,” MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said to reporters after a meeting with the Council of Eminent Persons today.
She made clear that for the local automotive industry to move forward, the government must create a conducive environment through liberalisation, as is the case in Thailand and Indonesia.
“Thailand is exporting more than 1.3 million cars a year and Indonesia more than 100,000 vehicles. What is Malaysia exporting? Twenty to thirty thousand units a year,” she noted.
Aishah said the National Automotive Policy, last updated in 2014, was also due for another review to ensure more vehicles were exported from Malaysia.
She also wants the government to review its plan for another national car, saying this would disrupt the local industry which only has a small market with a total volume of about 600,000 a year.
“What we don’t want is further incentives being provided for the new national car, which will really disrupt the industry. It does not help the industry at all,” she emphasised.
On electric cars, Aishah said further investments and incentives were needed to grow the segment, which only saw 13 cars sold last year.
“It takes time. The infrastructure and incentives must be there for us to see further growth.”
In Parliament today, Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said the previous government’s policy which favoured foreign cars had made it difficult for Proton to make a profit.
“The previous government allowed foreign cars to come in without giving Proton the opportunity to expand overseas,” he remarked, creating difficulties for the national car maker to compete with global automotive giants.
Thus he sees a need to impose conditions to limit the access by foreign cars into the local market. — Bernama