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[ 02-10-2014 ]
Budget 2015 Will Likely Align With The NAP
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 (Bernama) -- The Budget 2015 will likely be aligned with the aspirations of the National Automotive Policy (NAP).

The Malaysian Automotive Institute's (MAI) Chief Executive Officer Mohamad Madani Sahari opined that the NAP launched in January this year is itself fully packed with relevant incentives and funding facilitation offered by the government.

"The automotive segment in the forthcoming Budget 2015 should align itself with the NAP.

"The fundamentals of implementation could be touched on in the budget and cover factors such as infrastructure, skilled workers, supply chains and the development of technologies," he told Bernama.

The Budget 2015 will be introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Parliament on Oct 10.

The NAP which focuses on green initiatives, development of technology and human capital, market expansion and enhancement of the automotive industry ecosystem, has seen both the national car players, Proton and Perodua, lead in the industry's response.

Proton Holdings Bhd, with its newly launched "Iriz", believes the global standard car will help the company capture a larger share of the automotive market with its competitive pricing and innovative technological features.

Deemed as the best car ever produced by Proton, Iriz is equipped with a four-cylinder variable valve timing engine which fulfils the Euro-4 standards to make it fuel-efficient and cost-effective.

Proton's Chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed during the car launch on Sept 25 said the company had set global standards for the new car as a benchmark to enhance its competitiveness and improve marketability overseas.

In line with the government's aspiration to make Malaysia a hub for energy-efficient vehicles (EEVs), Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) came up with the "Axia".

The car is Malaysia's first EEV and received similar overwhelming response from consumers.

Perodua President and Chief Executive Officer Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh said the latest model is the company's most fuel efficient car that can travel up to 21.6 kilometers per litre, is spacious and packed with unique Malaysian features, while boasting an overall low-cost ownership.

Meanwhile, other global car manufacturers contacted expressed wishes for an extension of incentives for electric and hybrid vehicles.

BMW Group Malaysia Managing Director Alan Harris said electric vehicles which still can be categorised as a new found technology need to be incentivised to arrive in Malaysia.

"Electric vehicles also need an incentive in the form of an extended duty exemption or on tax.

"There was an incentive in the previous budget but when the NAP 2014 came into force in January, only manufacturers of locally-assembled vehicles received the incentives.

"But electric vehicles are still new, not like the EEV. Electric cars need a good take up and in the meantime, still need to be imported," he added.

Another German giant, Mercedes-Benz, expressed a wish on hybrid vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd Vice President of Sales and Marketing Kai Schlickum said the government took a big step in the right direction with the NAP incentivised locally assembled hybrid.

"It does benefit us, especially our S-class Hybrid. With the S400L model qualifying and receiving full duty exemption, we are proud to be able to contribute in helping Malaysia fulfill its ambition of becoming a regional EEV hub.

"However, since the hybrid incentive will expire in 2015, we wish it to be extended," he added.

Mercedes-Benz has invested RM15 million in equipping its existing assembly plant in Pekan, Pahang, for the hybrid model.

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