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  • Geely Holding up to 267th in Fortune 500 ranking – RM167 billion revenue, sales up 67% year-on-year

    Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (ZGH) climbed 76 places in the 2018 Fortune 500 rankings to 267th place, following the group’s increase in revenues to US$41.1 billion (RM167 billion), and marks the seventh consecutive year that the group has placed in the in the Fortune Global 500 rankings, according to Geely.

    Record sales at the group’s core subsidiaries, Geely Auto and Volvo Cars propelled the group to strong results for the year, with Geely Auto charting a 67% year-on-year increase for sales of more than 1.24 million vehicles, while Volvo grew 7% to 571,577 vehicles sold in that time.

    The first six months of 2018 saw Geely attain sales of 766,630 vehicles representing a 45% year-on-year increase, while Volvo Cars saw sales of 317,639 vehicles, representing a 14.4% year-on-year increase. The group attributed Volvo’s growth in that period to the marque’s XC40, XC60 and XC90 models.

    The first half of the year also saw Geely unveil the Borui GE, a plug-in hybrid sedan which is similar to Volvo’s T5 Twin Engine hybrid powertrain.

    Volvo’s sales in its largest single market, China grew by 18.4% to 61,480 vehicles, while the recently established brand Lynk & Co charted sales of 46,252 units for the first half of the year. The past year also saw Geely complete several acquisitions, including that of American flying car company Terrafugia, a 51% controlling stake in British sports car firm Lotus and a 49.9% stake in Malaysian car company Proton.

    Venturing into ride-sharing, Geely’s growth also saw the expansion of CAOCAO, the group’s new energy ride-sharing platform to 25 cities with more than 26,000 new energy vehicles in operation; CAOCAO received its service license in early 2017. Further technology ventures included a new joint venture with Tencent and China Railway for high-speed rail WiFi, as Geely diversifies from pure manufacturing into intelligent mobility.

    On the local front, Proton’s forthcoming SUV is based upon the Geely Boyue, and will arrive on our shores in October, first in CBU form, followed by CKD assembly in 2019. Equipment-wise, the as-yet-unnamed SUV will gain a host of features in its kit list including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and a voice command system.

  • AD: Win RM100 Petron and Touch ‘n Go cards and RM150 Eagle i dash cam voucher with!

    Let’s face it, shopping for window tint for your car is such a hassle. Not only do you need to find a reputable tinting outlet but you’ll also have to choose from the myriad of brands and products on offer, and not all of them will give you the best quality for your money.

    You’ll no longer worry about any of that with the region’s first on-demand car tinting service,, and now you can win goodies with every purchase! Just go onto and purchase any tint package and you’ll get a free RM100 Touch ‘n Go card and a RM100 Petron fuel card – it’s as simple as that.

    What’s more, you’ll also be stand a chance to win a RM150 Eagle i dash cam voucher. After tinting and collecting your car, snap a photo and post it on your Facebook account with a caption about our service. Make sure you tag our Facebook page in your post and set the privacy settings to public. That’s it!

    Be sure to post within 24 hours of vehicle collection, and you’ll walk away with the Eagle i voucher. You’d better hurry, however, as the promotion is only valid while stocks last! takes the hassle of tinting your car away. The online service will collect the vehicle from you, from any location within the Klang Valley and return it to you after tinting, which can be done within one day.

    All purchases come with official five-year warranty and range of brands include V-KOOL, ArmorCoat, Solar Gard and more, with prices starting from as low as RM550! You can also track your purchase, and for those who prefer to send in your vehicle on your own, you can do so as well.

    All tinting will be done by an official V-KOOL installer with over 15 years of experience at a specialised dust-free facility in Glenmarie, Shah Alam.

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  • Kia Niro EV goes on sale in Korea, Europe end-2018

    The Kia Niro EV goes on sale today in South Korea following over 5,000 pre-orders in its domestic market since order books opened in February.

    A close cousin of the Hyundai Kona EV that was unveiled in February, the Niro EV sits alongside the existing Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid variants of the B-segment crossover, of which more than 200,000 units have been sold globally since 2016. Of the total, 65,000 units were sold in Europe, where the Niro EV will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show in October, ahead of a year-end market launch.

    Kia’s second global electric car after the Soul EV is powered by a 204 PS/395 Nm motor, juiced by a 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack. It’s capable of a 450 km range on a single charge, and recharging to 80% via a 100 kW fast charger takes 54 minutes. A less powerful, more affordable version uses a 39.2 kWh lithium-polymer battery for a 300 km range – it will be available later.

    The Niro EV does the 0-100 km/h sprint in 7.8 seconds, and Kia says that it’s a stable and enjoyable drive, thanks to a low centre of gravity. The battery pack is located low down in the body, beneath the boot floor. Boot space is a decent 451 litres.

    On the outside, the EV is differentiated from its hybrid and plug-in hybrid sisters through a blanked-out grille incorporating the charging port flap, as well as redesigned air intakes with light blue highlights and arrowhead-shaped LED daytime running lights. The blue highlights extend to the reprofiled rear bumpers, while sportier side skirts and new 17-inch alloy wheels complete the look.

    Inside, the Niro EV’s features the same blue accents as the exterior, while the design of the centre console has been simplified to accommodate the car’s shift-by-wire dial-style shift knob. On the safety front, the EV retains all of the features of other Niro models, including frontal collision avoidance assist (FCA), lane keeping assist (LKA), smart cruise control (SCC), driver attention warning (DAW) and back collision warning (BCW).

    GALLERY: Kia Niro Hybrid

  • Mazda CX-8 awarded five-star safety rating by ANCAP

    The Mazda CX-8 went on sale earlier this month in Australia, and it has now been awarded a five-star rating by the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP). For the Australian market, the three-row SUV is available in three variants, with prices starting from AUD42,490 (RM127,186).

    The CX-8 is among the first (the other being the Volvo XC40) to be tested according to ANCAP’s latest and most stringent 2018 assessment protocols, which largely mimics those of its European counterparts like active safety systems and wider test scope (whiplash test for rear passengers, full-width front test, oblique side test and updated pedestrian and side impact tests).

    Referring to the ANCAP report, the Mazda SUV scored 96% in the Adult Occupant Protection category with the passenger compartment remaining stable in the frontal offset test. In other tests, the CX-8 managed ‘Adequate’ and ‘Good’ ratings when it comes to protecting passengers. In the Child Occupant Protection category, the CX-8 achieved a score of 87% with most child restraints being accommodated for.

    For the Australasian markets, the CX-8 comes as standard with a range of safety systems including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), blind spot monitor, lane departure warning, lane keep assist and seat belt reminders on all seat rows. ANCAP notes that the system performs well at highway speed scenarios and in urban environments, but notes the lack of a cyclist detection function.

    “The hurdles have been raised significantly for vehicles tested from 2018,” said ANCAP chief executive, James Goodwin. “It’s encouraging to see Mazda and Volvo set the standard, with their CX-8 and XC40 models being the first to step up and achieve five stars against our increased test standards,” he added.

    Reports indicate that the CX-8 will be introduced in Malaysia as well, but exactly when that will take place and if it will be a diesel-only variant (like in Australia) remains to be seen. The model should be priced less than the CX-9, which is larger by comparison despite sharing the same wheelbase.

  • Lynk & Co 03 sedan – first official “spyshots” revealed

    Aspiring upstart brand Lynk & Co has released the first official “spyshots” of the 03 sedan, the company’s third model after the 01 and 02 crossovers, as seen on Autocar. The car was previewed by a concept at the Shanghai Motor Show last year, and despite still wearing plenty of camouflage, we can see that the design of the soon-to-be-finished product stays relatively faithful, as we’ve seen in previous spy photos.

    Unlike what is becoming the norm these days, the 03 doesn’t adopt the trendy four-door “coupé” bodystyle, sticking to a traditional three-box look. At the front, you’ll find the brand’s signature dual-tier headlights with “dual-claw” LED daytime running lights up top, with the larger lower units integrated into the grille.

    Moving over to the side, the chrome window trim runs into the rear windscreen, while the rear sports L-shaped tail lights also seen on the 01 and 02. Also evident is the sportier front and rear bumpers with squared-off front intakes and rear diffuser that we’ve seen in a few spyshots in the past.

    Like the 01 and 02, the 03 will be built on the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) jointly developed by parent company Geely and Volvo, which also sees service on the Volvo XC40. It will likely be offered with the same powertrains as its Swedish sibling, including 1.5 and 2.0 litre turbo petrol engines as well as a plug-in hybrid version of the 1.5 litre unit.

    Lynk & Co wants to be a brand for the digital generation, and to that end the company aims to deliver a range of ownership options beyond the usual purchase, hire purchase and leasing routes. There’s a subscription service in the works, similar to Volvo’s Care by Volvo, plus the ability to share your car with other people through a digital key, using a “Share” button in the infotainment system.

    Production of Lynk & Co models have commenced in Zhangjiakou, China, with Volvo’s plant in Ghent, Belgium also set to pick it up in 2019. Right-hand drive models, meanwhile, are could be built at Proton’s plant in Tanjung Malim.

    GALLERY: Lynk & Co 03 spyshots

  • Valtteri Bottas to race for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in 2019, option for a further year in 2020

    We’re only halfway through the 2018 Formula One World Championship, but Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport has already confirmed its driver line-up for the 2019 season. Shortly after securing Lewis Hamilton’s services until end 2020, Valtteri Bottas has now signed a one-year contract extension with the team, with the option for a further year in 2020.

    Since joining Mercedes in 2017, Bottas has secured three Grand Prix wins and various podium finishes helped the team to a fourth consecutive constructors’ championship. Bottas was previously part of the Williams F1 team, which adopted Mercedes engines from the 2014 season.

    “It is great news that I will be racing for Mercedes in 2019 and it is nice to announce it here in Hockenheim – not just the home race for Mercedes but also the circuit where I took my first ever single-seater wins back in 2007. This year, with a full winter of preparation, I have been able to make a good step forward – and I believe that there is still more to come,” commented Bottas.

    “We are very pleased to extend Valtteri’s contract with Mercedes for another season at least – and to be able to confirm an unchanged driver line-up for 2019, ahead of our home race in Hockenheim. Valtteri’s performances have been excellent this season and, if not for our mistakes and his misfortune, he could be leading the drivers’ championship at the moment,” said team principal and CEO Toto Wolff.

  • PSA sold a record 2.1m cars in H1 2018, 38.1% growth

    Everyone seems to be selling more cars than ever. Fresh from learning that the Volkswagen Group has sold a company record 5.5 million vehicles in the first half of 2018, we now read that its French rival, Groupe PSA, has done a personal best.

    The PSA Group – which has Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel and Vauxhall brands – sold 2,181,800 units in H1 2018. That’s 38.1% growth compared to the first half of 2017, and an all-time record for the company. The good performance is attributed to the company’s SUV offensive and European leadership in light commercial vehicles (LCV) for Peugeot, Citroen and former GM brands Opel/Vauxhall.

    We start with SUVs, the hottest bodystyle in the market now. PSA’s SUV offensive saw 13 models launched worldwide by the five brands, resulting in sales of 609,300 units – that’s nearly 28% of the group’s total sales. At the end of May, PSA was number two in the overall European SUV segment with a market share of 16.9%, and leader in the continent’s B-SUV segment.

    Peugeot leads the way for the group, selling more than 339,200 SUVs worldwide (up 26%) in the first half of 2018. With 144,000 units sold (up 37%), the 3008 has been great for the brand, while the newer and larger 5008 pulled in 58,900 units.

    Over at Citroen, the SUV offensive started last autumn by the C3 Aircross in Europe and the C5 Aircross in China. Together, the raked in nearly 80,000 units in H1 2018, for a total of 135,000 sold since launch. The launch of the C4 Aircross in China and the C5 Aircross in Europe in the second half will add further momentum.

    Now a separate brand, the DS 7 Crossback was launched in February and helped the premium brand grow 35% in the second quarter. PSA says that two out of three customers chose top-of-the-line versions and every second customer choose the DS Connected Pilot option, which offers Level 2 autonomous driving. Needless to say, the higher a variant and the more options picked, the higher the profit.

    Meanwhile, the newly acquired Opel and Vauxhall brands have the X-family of SUVs, which includes the Crossland X, Mokka X, and Grandland X. They contributed 167,200 units to the final tally.

    Strong LCV sales were another big boost for PSA, and the 289,500 units sold sets a new record. That’s up 32.8%, but if you discount Opel/Vauxhall, there’s still 8.3% growth. In Europe, PSA leads the market with more than one in four sales. Outside Europe, sales were up 9% in Eurasia (Russian and Ukraine), and 27.8% in Latin America.

    Following the renewal of compact vans in 2016, PSA will take another step in the upgrade of its LCV line-up in the second half with the release of a new generation of B-LCVs (Peugeot Partner, Citroen Berlingo Van and Opel/Vauxhall Combo).

    Zooming into our part of the world, PSA sold 163,000 vehicles in China and South East Asia in H1 2018, up 6.9%. Citroen was the biggest contributor to the improvement, with sales up 50.5% thanks to its range of sedans and the China launch of the C5 Aircross SUV last September. Peugeot’s “008” SUV family contributed 40% of the brand’s total sales volumes.

    In February, PSA made significant progress in strengthening its operations in Southeast Asia with the creation of a joint venture with Naza. The move saw the Europe’s second largest carmaker take majority stake in Naza’s Gurun plant in Kedah, which will churn out the Peugeot 3008 this year and the Citroen C5 Aircross in 2019. With 4,900 units sold in ASEAN in six months, “the acceleration in this part of the region is now noticeable,” PSA says.

  • Vehicle sales performance in Malaysia, H1 2018 versus H1 2017 – find out which brand improved or declined

    The month of June 2018 saw a significant increase in the number of vehicles sold, with customers looking to take advantage of the “tax holiday” that we’re currently experiencing. You’ve already seen the figures for the number of vehicles sold by car companies, so let’s now take a look at how this has affected their overall performance at the mid-way point of the year with data compiled by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).

    In terms of overall total industry volume (TIV), the first half of 2018 saw a 1.85% growth with 289,714 units sold compared to 284,461 units during the same period last year. Unsurprisingly, Perodua remains at the very top with a market share of 40.4% for the first half of 2018, which is an improvement from the same period last year (35%). The national carmaker also sold 17.48% more cars in H1 2018, with 117,098 units compared to 99,675 units in H1 2017.

    Coming in second place is Honda with a market share of 17.7% and 51,354 cars sold. While these figures are good enough for Honda to retain its position as the top non-national car brand, they pale in comparison to what it experienced in H1 2017 – 18.5% market share and 52,527 units sold.

    Similarly, Toyota saw a decline in its market share from 11.9% in H1 2017 to 10.9%, while sales were down 5.97% from 33,727 to 31,709 units. Despite this, the big T occupied the third spot on the list, ahead of Proton that commanded just 9.4% of the market and sold 27,106 cars (down 31.19% compared to H1 2017) – it was previously third during Q1 2018.

    Other Japanese makes that saw a decline in market share and total sales include Nissan (4.1% from 4.8%) and Isuzu (1.6% from 1.9%), with Mazda and Mitsubishi both gaining ground in both regards. Subaru held on to its 0.8% market share, with a slight gain in sales to 2,318 units (+1.18%), but finished behind Volkswagen (1.2% market share and 3,344 units sold) and Ford (0.8% market share and 3,072 units sold).

    Over in the premium market, Mercedes-Benz sold more cars in H1 2018 (6,950 units) compared to the same period last year (6,034 units), which enabled it to secure 2.4% of the market. With a market share of 1.8%, BMW also had an encouraging H1 2018 with 5,340 cars sold compared to 4,816 cars in H1 2017. Notable brands on the list like Kia, Peugeot, Volvo, MINI, Lexus and Renault all experienced higher sales figure in H1 2018 compared to H1 2017, although their market shares didn’t grow by a huge margin.

    For a detailed overview of car brands’ market share, click on the chart below to view a larger version.

  • Malaysian vehicle sales data for June 2018 by brand – Toyota +466%, Lexus +3,166%, Volkswagen +677%

    Vehicle sales figures shot through the roof last month compared to that in May, when the government announced that the goods and services tax (GST) rate would be set at 0% until the return of SST, resulting in customers holding back on purchases for the rest of that month.

    With consumers taking advantage of the ‘tax holiday’ as well as Hari Raya festive season promotional campaigns and offers, a total of 64,502 units were registered last month, up 50% from the 42,983 units managed in May. The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) said it was the first time that the sales mark has breached 60,000 units in a month.

    Here’s a quick breakdown of how most brands performed in May. As the chart shows, every passenger car player – with the exception of market leader Perodua, which registered a -10.8% drop – had a green arrow last month.

    As mentioned, positive growth for every company, including Honda (+41.9%), Proton (+50.9%) and Nissan (+47.6%), but in some cases the percentage increase was quite staggering, as shown by gains made by Volkswagen (+676.8%) and Renault (+1,100%).

    Other brands that did very well in a month of sterling sales included Toyota (+466.5%), Mazda (+145.8%), Mitsubishi (+380.6%), Subaru (+436.8%) and Hyundai (+258.7%).

    Toyota’s performance meant that it outsold Honda last month (11,482 units to 11,418), but it still has a way to go before it can catch up in overall numbers – in terms of year-to-date figures, it’s at 31,709 units to Honda’s 51,354 units.

    Sales of premium vehicles also increased – there’s really nothing better than paying less tax, and it doesn’t matter which part of the spectrum you’re in. Mercedes (+141.2%) and BMW (155.6%) continued on their merry way, but other brands had plenty to smile about.

    Porsche (+477.8%) and Audi (+483.3%) vehicle sales went from single-digit to double-digits last month, and Volvo (+625.9%) sold six times the number of cars it did in May. The largest percentage gain in the premium segment was managed by Lexus (+3,166.7%), sales moving from six units in May to nearly 200 units last month.

    Click on the chart below to view a larger version.

  • SPIED: G11 BMW 7 Series LCI testing at the ‘Ring

    The G11-generation BMW 7 Series facelift, or life cycle impulse (LCI) in BMW-speak has been spotted running trials again, this time at the Nurburgring Nordschleife in Germany. Behind the camouflage, the facelifted 7 will receive a larger kidney grille and revised headlights, bringing the large sedan’s frontal look more in line with recently introduced models such as the G05 X5 and the G07 X7.

    As in the last time the G11 LCI was spotted, a hint of blue in the headlights suggest that the 7 Series LCI will use BMW Laserlight technology as well, and is complemented by a sportier, Sport-style front bumper. Meanwhile, the rear end also gets updated with a fresh look with a new tail light design as well as a different set of cutouts in the lower part of the rear bumper.

    Munich’s flagship sedan will continue to be offered with a wide range of engines, from the 2.0 litre turbo four petrol plug-in hybrid in the 740Le xDrive, through various six- and eight-cylinder options, to the 6.6 litre biturbo V12 in the M760Li.

    Elsewhere, the G11/12 7 Series should retain its interior and systems architecture, given that this will be a mid-lifecycle update. For now, the LCI 7 Series is expected to make its debut closer towards the end of this year, or at the beginning of 2019.


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Last Updated 19 Jul 2018


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