Latest Stories

  • Perodua posts record sales for 2018 with 227,243 units, forecasts 4% growth to 231,000 units in 2019

    It was another solid 12 months for Perodua last year, with the national carmaker reporting that it sold 227,243 units in 2018, its best-ever yearly sales performance. This is a 10.9% – or 22,343 unit – increase over the 204,900 units it managed in 2017, the improvement in numbers brought about by the strong performance of the Myvi and the three-month tax holiday when GST became zero-rated.

    The company is expecting 2019 to be an even better year, projecting a four percent increase to 231,000 units, with the push continuing through the Myvi and the recently-introduced Aruz SUV.

    “Perodua’s aim to boost its sales by four percent this year will not only strengthen the brand but offer some relief to the Malaysian car industry, which is forecast to grow very minimally this year,” said newly-appointed Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad.

    He added that the company has collected nearly 5,700 bookings for the Aruz since order-taking for the SUV began on January 3, a good jump from the 2,200 bookings reported on January 15 “Given that our sales target is 2,500 units monthly, the figure is very encouraging indeed,” he said.

    In terms of specifics, it was no surprise that the Myvi was Perodua’s best-selling model last year, with 82,122 units registered out of 117,844 booked over the course of the year.

    The automaker also revealed that from its November 2017 launch to date, the Myvi’s numbers have exceeded 91,500 registrations and 147,000 bookings. Meanwhile, the Axia, Bezza and Alza – which was given a facelift last year – contributed 70,821, 49,911 and 24,389 units to the 2018 total.

    In terms of production, over 219,000 vehicles rolled out of the Perodua Manufacturing and Perodua Global Manufacturing plants last year, and the company says it is aiming to better that figure by 10.5%, to 242,000 vehicles, in 2019.

    The carmaker is also expecting to increase its component purchases by 20% from RM5 billion last year to RM6 billion this year. This is in line with the demand expected in 2019 and will directly benefit local automotive suppliers.

    After-sales also set new records last year, with an increase in service intakes being among these. In 2018, it accomplished 2.17 million intakes compared to 2.1 million the year before, making for a three percent increase.

    The sales of parts and accessories also increased, with RM320.8 million managed in 2018, a 11% increase from the RM288.5 million registered the year before. Its body & paint and pre-owned vehicle businesses also saw growth.

    “After-sales is just as important as sales to us, as it sustains us in this ever-competitive market. We want to improve in this area further as it is with customer care that we will be able to further strengthen our brand in this country,” Zainal added.

  • Honda confirms new EV prototype for Geneva event

    For this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Honda will unveil a new electric vehicle prototype, which is being previewed by this early design sketch.

    The Japanese carmaker says the prototype represents another step in its ‘Electric Vision’, a commitment for two thirds of European sales to feature electrified technology by 2025.

    Design-wise, the prototype bears some semblance to the Urban EV Concept from 2017, most notably by the circular headlamps and bonnet element at the front. However, the yet-unnamed EV has a curvier body compared to the retro, Civic hatchback-esque show car.

    Other noticeable details are the small humps near the base of the A-pillars, which appear to be cameras, and a two-tone paint finish. Details about the electric powertrain are not being provided for now.

    Honda did confirm that the prototype would become a production-ready version set to go on sale later in the year.

  • SPIED: W213 Mercedes-Benz E-Class facelift interior

    The W213 Mercedes-Benz E-Class facelift has been spotted yet again, this time in northern Europe undergoing cold-weather testing. As with previous sightings, the sedan receives some noticeable revisions to its exterior but now, we get a glimpse of what has been changed on the inside as well.

    Unsurprisingly, there’s not a whole lot new inside the E-Class’ cabin at first glance, with the same dashboard layout being carried over from before, with the widescreen cockpit being the main attention grabber.

    Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that the touchpad for the car’s infotainment system on the centre console is new, and looks a lot like the one used in the latest W177 A-Class – sans the palm rest. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this interface, as it was present on the GLC F-Cell and previous S-Class and E-Class mules.

    However, don’t hold your breath on the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) system making its way into the E-Class, given the different architecture required to run the system.

    In other areas, we also spot a new steering wheel design with a smaller centre boss compared to the current model, which will likely continue to feature Mercedes-Benz’s Touch Control interface.

    As for the exterior, the E-Class’ front end has been completely revamped with a trapezoidal radiator grille and angular headlamps that feature arrow-shaped LED DRLs. The taillights also appear to be new OLED units, something is also shared with the coupe version of the facelift.

    Engine options should be similar to the existing range that is currently offered following the E-Class’ most recent update, including mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid and conventional internal combustion engines.

  • Germans riled up over potential Autobahn speed limit

    A leaked proposal to impose universal speed limits on the German Autobahn is causing outrage among car-loving Germans, according to a report by Associate Press. Germany is one of the few countries in the world that doesn’t impose speed limits on the Autobahn.

    Germany’s transport minister, Andreas Scheuer said the idea “goes against all common sense,” but prominent Green Party lawmaker Cem Ozdemir said the move to impose speed limit is an “act of reason.”

    The idea, which is essentially still a notion, would limit speeds on the country’s highways to 80 mph, or 129 km/h. Those in support said the move would reduce air pollution, help fight climate change and reduce the number of car accidents.

    This isn’t the first time environmentalists had called for speed limits to be imposed on the Autobahn, though. Over the years, particularly since 2007, eco activists have fought for its implementation, stating that speed limits will cut greenhouse gas emissions and help Germany brush up its green credentials. Thoughts, guys?

  • AD: Enjoy Subaru Chinese New Year Ang Pow – up to RM8,888 rebate when you purchase an XV or Forester!

    With just under two weeks to go till the Chinese Lunar New Year, there’s no better time to purchase that new Subaru SUV that you’ve been eyeing as of late. To make things even better, you can enjoy cash rebates worth up to RM8,888 when you purchase a brand new XV or Forester!

    The best thing is, everyone is eligible to be part of Subaru Malaysia’s Chinese New Year campaign. All you have to do is simply fill up this form with your details and choose your preferred authorised Subaru showroom. After that, you will be notified of your ang pow‘s value via SMS, which comes in the form of a QR code. The ang pow values from RM1,288 to RM8,888.

    On top of that, you can also enjoy special trade-in assist with your current car. Convenient, isn’t it? If you’re interested, be quick, because the campaign runs till February 28, 2019. All you have to do is submit your details, here. Terms and conditions apply.

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  • 2019 WSBK season sees Kawasaki Racing Team ready to defend fifth consecutive championship win

    With four-time World Superbike Championship winner Jonathan Rea leading the charge, Kawasaki Racing Team (KRT) is geared up for the 2019 race season. With the first round of WSBK being held in Australia next month, both Rea and team mate Leon Haslam will be conducting on final test in Jerez, Spain on 23 and 24 January, followed by two more days of testing in Portimao on the 27 and 28.

    After two successful test sessions last year, KRT will be campaigning an updated version of the Kawasaki ZX-10RR, said to be higher revving that the previous model. This was achieved partly through the use of finger follower valve design.

    Rea, who has won the championship four times in a row for Kawasaki is excited about the upcoming season. “The tests at the end of last year were all about trying out different items and now we can put them all together and begin performance testing. I am excited because we were fast in Jerez in November, so I hope we can have some good weather this time,” said Rea.

    Haslam, son of former 500 cc Grand Prix racer Ronald ‘Rocket Ron’ Haslam, won the British Superbike Championship in 2018 riding a Kawasaki ZX-10R. “It has been a short winter for me because I got some surgical screws taken out of my ankle. I have done a two-week training camp out in Barcelona, riding Supermoto, flat track and doing numerous other things. Getting used to the bike and how to use it in terms of riding style and electronics, is the key,” Haslam said.

    The 2019 WSBK calendar covers 13 rounds with the first round kicking off at Philip Island on 22 February with the season ending in Qatar on the weekend of 24 October. In Malaysia, the 2019 Kawasaki ZX-10RR retails at a price of RM159,900.

  • Kia Picanto GT-Line now in Malaysia – RM57,888 OTR

    We’ve been waiting for the Kia Picanto GT-Line, the top-of-the-line variant of the competent, likeable city car, ever since a purported brochure for the car showed up in June last year. Now, Naza Kia has finally confirmed that the car has gone on sale, priced at RM57,888 on-the-road without insurance.

    Yes, that’s a whole RM8,000 more the standard EX variant, but you’re likely gonna get a whole lot more for your money. Although no details have been revealed just yet, it looks to be very well-equipped indeed, judging by the car’s preview at the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS) last November. For a start, it’s fitted with the sportier exterior design that typically comes with the GT-Line badge.

    These include a larger lower grille with integrated fog lights, deeper side skirts and an aggressive rear diffuser design with twin exhaust exits. You’ll also get 16-inch eight-spoke alloy wheels in a two-tone finish, plus contrasting accents for the grille, front intakes, side skirts and rear diffuser (the show car had red highlights). Inside, there’s a leather-wrapped flat-bottomed steering wheel and two-tone leather seats.

    The GT-Line is also expected to get a whole host of added kit over the EX, if the show car is accurate – a sunroof, a Supervision instrument cluster, automatic air-conditioning, a front armrest, an illuminated vanity mirror, cruise control and a tyre pressure monitoring system are all on the cards.

    That’s before you get to safety, where the GT-Line is set to receive autonomous emergency braking (AEB), putting it on equal footing with the RM54,090 Perodua Myvi 1.5 AV. That’s on top of all the already impressive safety kit that comes as standard, which includes six airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, stability control, hill start assist and ISOFIX rear child seat anchors.

    Other items to be carried over from the EX include automatic projector halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, keyless entry, push-button start, a reverse camera, six speakers and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

    The standard Picanto EX held its own against the Myvi and the updated Proton Iriz in our Driven Web Series comparison last year – watch the video below to see how it fared.

    GALLERY: Kia Picanto GT-Line at KLIMS 2018

  • TAS 2019: Mugen Honda Civic Type R RC20GT debuts

    The Mugen RC20GT Civic Type R concept arrived at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon following its initial showing at last year’s show, with its very imposing looks appearing to be carried over mostly intact. Here dubbed the Mugen RC20GT Package Pre Production Model, it may enter production to go on sale in its home market; great news for those whom the Mugen Honda Civic Type R FK8 Prototype is a touch mild.

    Much of the Mugen’s bodykit has been carried over for this iteration, not least the massive, Audi-aping front grille, while the generously vented bonnet is fashioned from carbon-fibre, as is the front bumper with large dive planes. Along its sides, the Mugen trades the tri-coloured stripes from last year for a stylised cartoon character.

    Fancy more wing? The rear aerofoil on the Mugen RC20GT concept continues to feature the carbon-fibre unit from last year’s car, which is adjustable for angle of attack and therefore, downforce. Meanwhile, rolling stock continues to be the 20-inch multi-spoked forged items, where a set of larger front brakes by Brembo with six-piston calipers take residence.

    Sadly the show car was sealed off and therefore its interior could not be clearly seen, though video footage on the sidelines depicted a conventional steering wheel from the ‘standard’ Civic Type R in place of squared-off, racing-inspired tiller on last year’s concept.

    Engine output and performance figures remain an enigma with the Mugen Civie RC20GT, though the car’s powerplant has been given an improved cooling system which in turn yields more power, according to the famed tuning firm. In standard guise, the FK8 Civic Type R produces 320 PS and 400 Nm of torque from its 2.0 litre K20C1 turbocharged four-cylinder engine, paired with a six-speed manual driving the front wheels.

    GALLERY Mugen Honda Civic Type R FK8 Prototype

  • BMW engine oil service packages now sold on Lazada

    BMW customers in the country can now purchase engine oil service packages on Lazada as part of efforts to further improve the ownership experience. These packages, which are priced from RM450 onwards, are being offered by authorised BMW dealers.

    At the moment, the packages are available for specific models such as the BMW 3 Series (E46 and E90) as well as the BMW 5 Series (E60). Each package includes genuine engine oil, oil filter and labour.

    “In our pursuit to increase the sheer pleasure of a BMW ownership experience, we are excited to be partnering with the leading e-commerce platform in the country, to make original bmw engine oil and service more readily available to BMW owners,” said Harald Hoelzl, managing director at BMW Group Malaysia.

    “This marks the first offering by BMW authorised dealers after-sales on an e-commerce platform, which enables BMW owners to enjoy peace of mind ownership experience from wherever they are, be it on their computer, laptop, or smartphones,” he continued.

    “With the participation of participating dealers, we are able to ensure continuous optimal performance, efficiency, and protection for our customers’ engines, while delivering ‘Sheer Driving Pleasure’ through BMW’s top-quality maintenance,” added Stefan Sloboda, head of aftersales at BMW Malaysia.

    In terms of mechanics, customers who purchase an engine oil service package (linked to a specific dealership) on Lazada will be contacted within one business day to schedule an appointment. They will then send their car in on the appointment day to have the service carried out.

    For now, the packages are being offered by the following BMW dealers: Auto Bavaria Glenmarie, Auto Bavaria Johor Bahru, Auto Bavaria Kuala Lumpur, Auto Bavaria Penang, Auto Bavaria Sungai Besi, Ingress Auto Damansara, Lee Motors Auto Care: Alor Setar, Seong Hoe Premium Motors Melaka, Tian Siang Premium Auto: Butterworth, Tian Siang Premium Auto: Ipoh and Wearnes Autohaus Tebrau.

  • BMW, Daimler may co-develop future 1 Series, A-Class

    Collaborations and joint ventures are increasingly common, where even direct competitors are likely getting together for the co-development of future models and technologies. BMW and Daimler may be next in line to join hands for the sharing of vehicle architectures, according to German news outlet Handelsblatt.

    The possible co-development of future models is aimed at the compact car ranges of the respective automakers, namely the 1 Series and the A-Class model lines, and this would be part of a wider cooperation that also includes technology sharing for autonomous cars, the German newspaper said.

    The tie-up, should it take place, will help the two brands save costs and subsequently be able to invest billions in the development of self-driving systems in order to keep their technological lead ahead of traditional carmaking rivals, as well as newcomers to the industry such as Waymo, the publication said. The initiative will come, in part, from sharing patents, in addition to shared development.

    Additionally, transmission and battery cells are the major components likely to be shared betwen the two firms in the future, it said. Should discussions for the joint effort materialise, the first co-developed compact cars will only appear after 2025 at the soonest, Handelsblatt said, adding that the engineers from each company would mount stiff resistance to such plans.

    BMW Group and Daimler AG have already started cooperating in other areas. Together with Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen Group via Audi and Porsche, the companies formed part of a joint venture named IONITY for the development and implementation of a high-power charging network for EVs across Europe, with all founding partners holding equal shares in the joint venture.


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Last Updated 19 Jan 2019


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