KUALA LUMPUR – September 26, 2018: The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has made clear that it has no objection to the proposed third national car project if it is fully funded privately.
Additionally the association is against any form of protectionism favouring the project as this will have a negative effect on the local automotive industry.
“There must be a level playing field,” said MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad. Aishah was responding to a claim by Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) on the need for a third national car to boost the industry.
The Chief Executive Officer of MAI, Datuk Madani Sahari, was quoted as saying that a third national car with battery-based power-trains and autonomous navigation being the dominant technologies will create a new mega sector called connected mobility.
“This next phase can be best achieved when we have a national car project in which we have a position to maximise participation of local talents and businesses, especially with regards to meaningful research and development,” Madani said at the MAI website today.
Aishah, however, said Malaysia will eventually receive such technologies even if it does not have a third national car.
“We cannot run from them. If those technologies are becoming mainstream overseas, it will come here and we will eventually learn the technologies and have the expertise.
“This is because we would have to assemble and repair parts of vehicles that are sold here. So if it’s a new technology, then we will have to learn it anyway,” said Aishah.
The idea of having a third national car has been receiving less than favourable response from various sectors, with some citing the government’s bailouts for Proton as a reason.