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  • Mercedes-Benz Hungry for Adventure Festival – taking you through the cars, test drives and activities

    We’ve just gone through the second day of the Mercedes-Benz Hungry for Adventure Festival, and we had a blast. Sure, there are plenty of cars to see and test drive, but there are so much more besides.

    Just to recap, the weekend event saw the launch of the locally-assembled GLC 300 4Matic Coupé, which retails at an indicative RM399,888 on-the-road without insurance. The brand new V167 GLE 450 4Matic is also being previewed here – it’s coming to our shores soon with an estimated price of RM633,888.

    Also available for public viewing was Stuttgart’s latest SUVs, including the standard GLC and the GLA. Those looking for more performance would’ve have their appetites whetted by AMG variants like the GLA 45, GLC 43 and 63, GLE 43 Coupé and the biggest and most powerful of them all, the RM1.46 million G 63. Visitors were also able to test drive various Mercedes sedans, coupés, hatchbacks and SUVs – yes, AMGs too.

    As if all that wasn’t exciting enough, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia also brought along plenty of activities for families to enjoy, really ramming home the Hungry for Adventure theme. The flying fox and reverse bungee jumping were a must to experience (the latter was a particular eye-opener for yours truly), while the rock climbing and the Cycology virtual cycling challenge were a real test for fitness and strength.

    As for the kids, an inflatable playground and a miniature driving town kept them entertained, while food trucks were around to sate appetites. But that’s not all, as there was also something for music lovers to enjoy, including a freestyle rap and DJ battle which saw winners walk away with cash prizes and a chance to perform at the ongoing Hungry for Adventure Live concert.

    This concert, by the way, will see performances from Craig David presents TS5, BATE, MC VIBE, CZA and Electronic Theatrical Music. The concert is invite-only, with visitors having scored passes by taking part in an Instagram contest and test driving the vehicles at the event over the past two days.

    Don’t forget to catch the last day of the Mercedes-Benz Hungry for Adventure Festival tomorrow, March 23, from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm at Sentul Depot at Sentul West, near the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC). Admission is free. For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.




    GALLERY: C253 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic Coupé CKD
    GALLERY: V167 Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 4Matic

     
  • Harley-Davidson Malaysia opens Penang showroom

    In line with its expansion plans, Harley-Davidson Malaysia has opened a third branch, this time in Penang, joining its branch in Malacca and its flagship centre in Petaling Jaya. Located in Auto City, Bukit Tengah Prai, the new Harley-Davidson Pulau Pinang is a RM6 million investment and is operated by GB Motorcycles.

    Aside from the showroom and sales of the latest models from the iconic American motorcycle brand, Harley-Davidson Pulau Pinang also acts as a one-stop centre. Here, Harley riders can obtain servicing and repairs for their bikes, along with spare parts, accessories, riding gear and other Harley-Davidson lifestyle products.

    During the opening, Harley-Davidson Malaysian also officially announced pricing for its CKD motorcycle models, which come from Thailand – five Sportster models and seven Softail models, where prices were compared to the CBU bikes. With pricing starting from RM62,600, you can find a complete breakdown of Harley-Davidson Malaysia pricing here.

    Celebration of the opening was enlivened with the presentation of brand new Harleys to two owners in the northern region. They were joined by Harley-Davidson riders and owners from across Malaysia.

    “For us, the official Harley-Davidson dealer representative is very important because they are are in offering the complete Harley-Davidson motorcycle experience,” said Johan Kleinstuber, managing director of Harley-Davidson Asia Emerging Markets.

     
  • G20 BMW 3 Series launching in Malaysia on March 28

    BMW Malaysia will officially launch the all-new G20 BMW 3 Series on March 28, 2019, and you can now register your interest via this dedicated website. Additionally, a video teaser for the seventh-generation model has been posted on the company’s social media websites.

    As before, there’re absolutely zero details when it comes to specifications (for now), but based on G20 units that were sighted recently, the 330i M Sport will be an available option to buyers.

    The 330i features a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine offering 258 PS from 5,000 to 6,500 rpm and 400 Nm, with drive going to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Performance-wise, the zero to 100 km/h sprint takes 5.8 seconds.

    The cars on the transports also appear to be fitted with 18-inch bicolour Orbit Grey (Style 790) M light double-spoke alloy wheels, as well as enhanced LED headlamps with U-shaped daytime running lights, the latter being present on the ROI page. Also included is the M Sport kit that consists of more aggressive bumpers and other cues that differentiate it from Sport Line and Luxury Line models.

    With an official launch date now revealed, it won’t be long before we welcome the latest 3 Series. The obvious rival here is the W205 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which was recently given a facelift earlier in November last year. Which side will you pick?

    GALLERY: G20 BMW 330i M Sport at the 2019 Singapore Motor Show

     
  • Proton announces plans for new assembly plant in Pakistan – operations to begin before the end of 2020

    Proton has officially announced that it will set up a new local assembly plant in Pakistan, which will be owned and operated by Alhaj Automotive. This comes after the national carmaker entered into an agreement with Alhaj back in August 29, 2018.

    The plant will be built at a Greenfield site in Karachi with an initial investment of USD30 million (about RM121.9 million), and is expected to commence operations before the end of 2020.

    Around 2,000 direct employment opportunities will be created within the plant’s first three years of operations, with a further 20,000 indirect jobs. Furthermore, as part of the agreement, Alhaj will also be the sole distributor for Proton vehicles in Pakistan.

    “Proton is very pleased its partnership with Alhaj Automotive has moved forward very quickly since we inked the agreement in August 2018. Expanding the sales of Proton vehicles outside of Malaysia is vital for us to achieve our long-term goals and we therefore hope for the Pakistan automotive market to be one of our growth engines for the future,” said Datuk Sri Syed Faisal Albar, chairman of Proton.

    “Alhaj Automotive is delighted to be the official distributor for Proton in Pakistan. We will leverage on our current dealerships located nationwide to start selling Proton vehicles as soon as possible while we develop standalone 3S/4S outlets at the same time,” said Al-Haj Shah Jee Gul Afridi, chairman of Alhaj Automotive.

    “Initially we will source CBU units from Malaysia before switching to CKD products once the new assembly plant begins operations before the end of 2020,” he added.

    With Proton’s aiming to sell 400,000 units yearly by 2027 as part of its “seven stars” strategy, export sales and the establishment of CKD assembly plants in overseas markets represent an important step to achieve that figure.

     
  • Grab’s late cancellation and no-show fees to curb intentional abuse, aimed at 0.5% errant passengers

    Grab recently announced that it will begin charging passengers a late cancellation and no-show fee. The late cancellation fee will be charged to passengers who cancel a ride after five minutes of being assigned a driver, while the no-show fee will be for cases where the driver cancels the ride after five minutes of him/her waiting at the meeting point (or three minutes for GrabShare), should he/she choose to do so.

    The fees range from RM3 to RM5, depending on service. This change to Grab’s cancellation policy starts on March 25, which is next Monday.

    Since the announcement earlier this week, there have been no shortage of feedback from consumers and netizens. Most of it wasn’t very positive, but Grab is confident that the vast majority of users will not be affected by this policy update. The company called for a media briefing this morning to clarify some misconceptions and to address concerns that users might have.

    According to Grab’s head of operations Rashid Shukor, the move is to curb intentional abuse of cancellation, which is bad for its community and eventually passengers. He said that the move is for the “improvement of behavior of a small but errant minority, which will also improve ride availability for all of us.” The minority in question amounts to just 0.5% of nationwide Grab bookings in a day, and most users – described as honest and respectful – will never be affected by the move.

    “The vast majority within our community are honest, respectful users. Unfortunately, we have noticed some repeated patterns of intentional late cancellations and no-shows. Therefore, to protect our genuine users, we have to be tough against the small minority of intentional abusers,” Grab said in a statement.

    “Grab will not derive any profits from these fees. Instead, all fees go towards compensating affected driver-partners,” the company reiterated.

    At the briefing, Grab said that there are safeguards to avoid genuine cases being dragged into the net, so to speak. There are algorithms that can detect genuine cancellations, due to cases such as when the driver is late, or if the driver’s location is not right. No fee is incurred in such cancellation cases.

    Also, a passenger’s intent is checked at several instances, so there won’t be anyone accidentally cancelling. The late cancellation fee will be waived if the driver doesn’t arrive within 10 minutes after the original ETA, and you cancel.

    “Through advanced machine learning, we are able to monitor real-time data to check for genuine circumstances, such as unforeseen delays in the driver’s arrival,” Grab says, adding that it will keep an open feedback channel via the in-app Help Centre. If a genuine mistake has been made, Grab will reimburse the fee within two working days.

    In addition, everyone’s “first strike” (where you are liable for the penalty) will be waived, with a reminder from Grab that the move is an infraction. A yellow card, if you will.

    Compared to late cancellations, no-shows are a bigger problem, Grab says, as the driver would have essentially wasted his time and fuel for nothing, literally.

    The no-show fee will be charged to you if the driver cancels after waiting for more than five minutes at the agreed location (three minutes for GrabShare, as there are other riders involved), and the passenger fails to respond via calls or chat. Bear in mind that this is not automatic and the driver is likely to continue waiting without cancelling. If he/she chooses to not cancel, there will be no penalty.

    Click to enlarge

    So how do you pay the late cancellation and no-show fees if you kena? For cashless payments (cards or GrabPay), it’s a simple deduction (refunds are similarly straightforward). For cash riders, the fee will be added on to your next Grab ride. Grab would have already paid your original driver the fee, and the next ride’s driver is merely collecting it back for Grab, from you. 100% of late cancellation and no-show fees go to the driver. Refunds for cash customers will come in the form of a promo code.

    Grab is describing this policy as education for errant passengers. To my question on why aren’t these “bad apples” simply banned from the platform after a few strikes, Rashid says that Grab is taking a “rehabilitative stance, to have them improve instead of restricting them from transport, which is a very harsh measure.”

    Although 0.5% sounds small, Grab says that such cases affect thousands of drivers a day, which affects the whole system and other passengers as well. So far, this policy change has been made in Singapore and Malaysia, but it will be rolled out regionally in phases.

    Click to enlarge

    As for drivers cancelling passengers or asking us to cancel, Grab will deal with them internally, as they have always done.

    “Similar to our passengers, the vast majority of our driver=partners are also honest, respectful and hardworking. Today, we already have strict measures in place to take action against unfair cancellations by a minority of driver-partners who give the whole community a bad name. Those who repeatedly ask passengers to cancel could result in a suspension or even a permanent ban,” Grab said.

    Once again, the penalty is for cancelling after five minutes of getting a driver (if he has responded and is moving in your direction) or for not showing up five minutes after he has arrived (or three minutes for GrabShare). The latter is only if he decides to cancel and not to continue waiting. Your first strike will be waived. Fair enough, or not? Tell us what you think.

     
  • FIRST LOOK: Mercedes-Benz GLC300 Coupe AMG Line in Malaysia – CKD; estimated price from RM400k

    Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) today introduced a new GLC 300 4Matic AMG Line variant for the C253 GLC Coupe, and here’s our man Hafriz Shah to take you on a tour of the new addition to MBM’s SUV line-up.

    The GLC 300 replaces the existing GLC 250 4Matic AMG Line, sitting just below the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4Matic. On paper, the new GLC Coupe variant appears to offer better value compared to its predecessor, and for a number of reasons.

    For starters, there’s the price. At an estimated RM399,888 on-the-road without insurance, it is significantly cheaper compared to the GLC 250 that went for RM445,888. This is because the GLC 300 is a locally-assembled (CKD) model rather than being a fully-imported (CBU) one.

    Secondly, even though the GLC 300 packs the familiar M274 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine as the GLC 250, it offers 245 PS (241 hp) and 370 Nm of torque instead of 211 PS (208 hp) and 350 Nm. What remains the same is a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission is standard here, as well as 4Matic all-wheel drive system.

    The equipment list is also largely similar, with Artico leather upholstery, AMG sports pedals, black piano lacquer or light longitudinal-grain aluminium trim, a flat-bottom AMG sports steering wheel, powered seats (with lumbar support and memory function for front passengers), a panoramic sunroof, Audio 20 multimedia CD, ambient lighting and a Burmester sound system.

    In terms of safety and driver assist systems, the GLC 300 follows in the footsteps of its non-coupe, X253 GLC sibling, gaining Lane Tracking Package, which includes Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist. Other items such as Collision Prevention Assist Plus and Attention Assist are also present.

    GALLERY: 2019 C253 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic AMG Line Coupe

     
  • Mercedes-Benz Hungry for Adventure Festival this weekend – test drive latest SUVs, plus fun activities

    Hey guys! We’re coming to you live from the Mercedes-Benz Hungry for Adventure Festival, where we’ve just witnessed the launch of the locally-assembled GLC 300 4Matic Coupé and the preview of the new GLE 450 4Matic in Malaysia. The two new SUVs will be open for public viewing at the weekend event, which runs from now until March 22 at Sentul Depot, Sentul West.

    Joining the duo are various other SUVs such as the standard GLC and GLA, and those looking for more performance will have their appetites whetted by a range of AMG models, including the GLA 45, GLC 43 and 63, GLE 43 Coupé and the biggest and most powerful of them all, the RM1.46 million G 63. A number of these models are available for test drives throughout these three days.

    But that’s not all, as there’s also a variety of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy, including reverse bungee jumping, flying fox and rock climbing, as well as a virtual cycling challenge by Cycology. Kids aren’t going to be left out, with an inflatable playground and a miniature driving town set to keep the little ones busy, while food trucks will be around to sate appetites.

    The festival will also play host to the Hungry for Adventure Live concert, happening tomorrow at 6pm, with performances from Craig David presents TS5, BATE, MC VIBE, CZA and Electronic Theatrical Music, along with a freestyle rap and DJ battle.

    While the concert is invite-only, visitors can score passes by attending the event on March 22 and 23 and test driving any of the Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Do note that these passes will be given on a first come, first served basis, with only a limited number to be given away each day – so do hurry if you want them.

    The Mercedes-Benz Hungry for Adventure Festival will be held at Sentul Depot, Sentul West on March 22 to 24 from 10 am to 7 pm daily. For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.

     
  • March 2019 week four fuel price – petrol up yet again

    Another Friday, and so it’s time yet again for the weekly fuel price update. The coming week sees the price of petrol going up once more, but only for RON 97, since that of RON 95 is capped.

    From tomorrow, March 23, RON 97 will be priced at RM2.61 per litre (up seven sen from the RM2.54 last week). No change for RON 95, its price remaining capped at RM2.08, which is the maximum price consumers will pay no matter how high market prices push pump prices beyond that mark.

    Elsewhere, no change in the price of diesel, with Euro 2M diesel continuing to be priced at RM2.18 per litre, its capped price, while Euro 5 diesel, which is always 10 sen more than standard diesel, remains at RM2.28 per litre.

    The government said that without the price cap in place for both fuels, RON 95 would actually be priced at RM2.31 per litre while diesel would be at RM2.38 per litre, if based on that formulated through Automatic Price Mechanism (APM) calculations.

    These prices will be in effect until March 28, when the next set of fuel price adjustments will be announced. This is the 12th edition of the weekly fuel price format, which is set to be announced every Friday. The prices will be effective from Saturday until the following Friday.

     
  • V167 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 previewed, RM634k est

    Alongside the launch of the locally-assembled Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic Coupé, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia also held a preview of the V167 Mercedes-Benz GLE at its Hungry for Adventure Festival today. The fourth generation of Stuttgart’s midrange premium SUV, previously called the M-Class, is set to arrive soon with an estimated price of RM633,888 for the GLE 450 4Matic.

    Riding on the new Modular High Architecture (MHA), the new GLE wears the company’s latest SUV design language, with trapezoidal headlights flanking an upright octagonal grille. At the rear, you’ll find wide body-coloured C-pillars – a holdout of the original M-Class – and slim tail lights complete with blocky light guides.

    The GLE comes to Malaysia in AMG Line trim, featuring a more aggressive front bumper with the AMG “A-wing” design, a studded “diamond” grille and a rear diffuser with integrated twin tailpipes. Also fitted are Multibeam LED headlights and a Night Package with gloss black highlights, while 22-inch five twin-spoke alloy wheels fill the squared-off wheel arches.

    The interior is a bit of a departure from Mercedes’ sedan range, with a sweeping vent-like surround for the freestanding flatscreen panel, plus a rectangular design for the actual air vents. There’s also a tall centre console with leather-wrapped grab handles. For the first time, the GLE is being offered here in both five-seater and seven-seater variants.

    As standard, the GLE comes with twin 12.3-inch displays, linked to the latest Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system – the same one you’ll find on the new A-Class. The Linguatronic voice control, operated by saying “Hey Mercedes”, can be used to control various functions of the car, such as the climate control and the 64-colour ambient lighting.

    Other bits of kit include brushed aluminium dashboard trim, a panoramic sunroof, acoustic glass windscreen and side windows and Airmatic air suspension with the new 48-volt E-Active Body Control system. The latter controls the spring and damper of each corner individually, allowing it to perform such tricks as rocking the car free if it gets stuck off-road.

    Power comes from a new M256 3.0 litre turbocharged straight-six – the same one you’ll find in the CLS 450 – that produces 367 hp at 5,500 to 6,100 rpm and 500 Nm of torque from 1,600 to 4,500 rpm. It’s paired to a 48-volt mild hybrid system that provides a 22 hp/250 Nm boost under hard acceleration, along with a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive.

    The GLE 450 4Matic will be on display together with the GLC 300 4Matic Coupé and various other Mercedes-Benz SUVs at the Hungry for Adventure Festival, which runs from now until March 24 at Sentul Depot, Sentul West.

     
  • C253 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic Coupe debuts in Malaysia – CKD; estimated price from RM399,888

    The C253 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe line-up in Malaysia has been updated to include a new GLC 300 4Matic AMG Line variant, which replaces the existing GLC 250 4Matic AMG Line, and slots in below the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 4Matic.

    The GLC 300 is one of two models (the other is the all-new GLE 450) being introduced by Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) today, in conjunction with the company’s Hungry for Adventure Festival happening this weekend.

    With the GLC 300, you get a M274 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that serves up 245 PS (241 hp) at 5,500 rpm and 370 Nm of torque from 1,300-4,000 rpm. A nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission is standard here, as is a 4Matic all-wheel drive system.

    Performance-wise, you’re looking at a zero to 100 km/h time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 236 km/h. A Dynamic Select system is as per before, offering five operating modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual) to choose from, and you also get sports suspension.

    Standard equipment that comes standard on the GLC 300 include the AMG Line exterior kit, with elements such as a single-louvre diamond radiator grille (with pins finished in chrome), a Night package and rugged aprons at the front and rear.

    There’s also LED Intelligent Light System headlamps complemented by Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus, aluminium-look running boards, a rear spoiler and 20-inch multi-spoke light-alloy wheels.

    Meanwhile, the interior features Artico leather upholstery, AMG sports pedals, black piano lacquer or light longitudinal-grain aluminium trim, a flat-bottom AMG sports steering wheel, powered seats (with lumbar support and memory function for front passengers), a panoramic sunroof, Audio 20 multimedia CD, ambient lighting, Thermotronic dual-zone climate control, and a Burmester sound system. For convenience, there’s also Hands Free Access.

    In terms of safety and driver assist systems, the GLC 300 follows in the footsteps of its non-coupe, X253 GLC sibling, gaining Lane Tracking Package, which includes Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist. Other items such as Collision Prevention Assist Plus, Active Parking Assist with Parktronic, and Attention Assist are also present.

    According to MBM, the GLC 300 4Matic Coupe is a locally-assembled (CKD) model unlike its predecessor, the GLC 250. It also carries an estimated price tag of RM399,888 on-the-road without insurance. That makes it cheaper than the GLC 250 (RM445,888), although keep in mind that was a fully-imported (CBU) model.

    As with other Mercedes-Benz models, Agility Financing is available, and with a three-year tenure and a 25% downpayment, the monthly instalment for the GLC 300 is RM3,998. The financing plan also includes two complimentary comprehensive service packages, but this offer is only available until April 30, 2019.

    For more information and detailed specifications on the Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic AMG Line, head on over to CarBase.my.

    C253 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic Coupe official photos

     
 

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Latest Fuel Prices

PETROL
RON 95 RM2.08 (0.00)
RON 97 RM2.61 (+0.07)
RON 100 RM3.14
VPR RM3.28
DIESEL
EURO 2M RM2.18 (0.00)
EURO 5 RM2.28 (0.00)
Last Updated 23 Mar 2019



 

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