PM: Malaysia’s third national car prototype ready, waiting for investors

Radzi Razak
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (centre) attends the launch of National Automotive Policy 2020 at Menara Miti, Kuala Lumpur February 21, 2020. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 ― The New Malaysian Vehicle Project has its prototype ready and is currently waiting for investors to bring it to the international market, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad revealed today.

He said that the government will not invest in the project, and private investors are needed in order to realise the new technology that will be featured in the yet unnamed project.

“We have already produced prototypes but have yet to exhibit these to the public and are working on controls to make sure that our car become sensitive to its environment and react to make sure the driver do not make any mistakes.

“We have the capacity [to produce] but we need investors. That is why we are asking private sectors to invest and produce car not only for local market but outside as well,” he told reporters after launching the National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2020 at Menara Miti today.

Mahathir announced the third national car in 2018, after Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over the government.

Last August, the government announced that Bumiputera-owned company DreamEdge Sdn Bhd would serve as the anchor company for the project with Japanese manufacturer Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd was set to provide support to design the car,

However the Japanese based Toyota-owned company said it will not acquire any stake in the project.

Dr Mahathir said that the “car of the future” will be fitted with modern technology suitable for upcoming needs not only for Malaysia but also for the international market as well.

“We are ready with the technologies that will make the new national car competitive and of the standard that is found in other parts of the world,” he said.

He also said the government will retain Approved Permits (APs) to protect the interests of consumers by ensuring the import of foreign cars comply with set standards in the country.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia’s automotive market is open, but the government needs to regulate it so that consumers are not “taken for a ride” by car manufacturers.

“We are a very open market. You see all sorts of vehicles being driven in Malaysia.

“There is a need to control, to ensure no wrongdoing. That is why there needs to be a license to ensure what is sold complies with the quality declared by the manufacturers,” he said.

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