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  • RON 95 down 21 sen to RM1.70, RON 97 down 11 sen to RM2.00, diesel down 23 sen to RM1.70, per litre

    RON-95-Petrol

    The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism ministry (KPDNKK) has announced that come tomorrow (February 1, 2015), RON 95 petrol will be priced at RM1.70 a litre (-21 sen), RON 97 petrol at RM2.00 a litre (-11 sen) and diesel at RM1.70 a litre (-23 sen).

    RON 95 and diesel are now similarly priced. The price drops follow the current downtrend in global crude oil prices, with Brent currently hovering around the US$50 (RM182) per barrel mark.

    Subsidies for RON 95 petrol and diesel were discontinued exactly two months ago, and according to KPDNKK, their prices are, like RON 97 petrol, now derived based on a managed float system, and will be reviewed monthly.

     
  • NAP 2014 update – TIV up 1.6%, imports, exports fall

    Mustapa

    Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed provided members of the media earlier today with an overview of the past year following the National Automotive Policy‘s (NAP 2014) January 2014 implementation.

    He reiterated that the policy’s key objective is to make Malaysia the ASEAN Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) hub by 2020, with opportunities including research and development for right-hand drive vehicles and related tech, such as fuel efficiency, lightweight material, telematics, tooling and component design.

    Malaysia’s 2014 Total Industry Volume (TIV) grew 1.6% to 666,465 units, compared to 2013’s 655,793. Approved investments in the auto manufacturing sector totalled RM11.5 billion, while those in the after-sales and services sectors reached RM2.6 billion.

    TIV and TPV

    As of end-2014, RM4.9 billion of these investments was realised, boosting production capacity by 70,000 units a year. These investments began in 2013 and will be completed by 2018 to yield an increase in the existing production capacity from 600,000 to 923,000 units.

    Eight carmakers are involved in these investments – of these, only Perodua, Honda, Go Auto (Great Wall Motors) and Mazda were mentioned, and they all happen to be EEV carmakers.

    Where the auto sector is concerned, Malaysia exported almost RM4.9 billion worth between January and November last year (cars, RM550.6 million) – a RM306.7 million drop from 2013. Conversely, we imported just over RM17 billion in the same period (cars, RM8.8 billion) – that’s RM878.5 million less than we did in 2013.

    Reasons cited for the fall in both imports and exports include a “challenging market,” increasing ASEAN competition and our comparatively small market.

    The trade balance therefore stands at RM12.1 billion in favour of imports for the first 11 months of 2014. This is our narrowest import/export gap in the 2010-2014 period. Mustapa said the final figures, taking December into consideration, will be revealed in due course.

    Asked if a decision has been reached on whether to retain or abolish the Approved Permit (AP) system, the minister revealed that a study on the issue is “almost finalised,” and that he is due to be briefed sometime next week before he presents it to the government.

    Elsewhere, the Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) trained a total of 8,075 people in 2014, with almost all of them securing jobs in the auto sector at wages around 25% higher than the industry average. A total of 21,072 new jobs were created in 2014, comprising mostly technicians, skilled and semi-skilled workers and engineers.

    Additionally, MAI’s implementation of the Lean Production System and Automotive Supplier Excellence Programme was said to have improved productivity by 21.5%, saving RM601.3 million amongst 277 vendors.

    As of end-2014, 21 technology projects were initiated, with a total value of about RM39.9 million. Four of these projects have been commercialised by December 2014.

    Other topics from the NAP 2014 status update:
    New car prices dropped 7% on average last year, 20% reduction on average by end-2017 targeted – MITI
    Euro 5 diesel to begin selling in Klang Valley this year
    No plans to extend CKD hybrid tax exemptions as yet
    Public not ready for Vehicle End of Life policy – Tok Pa

     
  • BMW X5 M, X6 M rigged with M Performance Parts

    bmw-x5-m-performance-parts-2

    Unveiled late last year, the BMW X5 M and X6 M high-performance crossover twins are not exactly the subtlest vehicles around. Sure, both models may have hailed from more vanilla variants, but the addition of a 4.4 litre V8 producing 567 hp and 750 Nm of torque promises family-unfriendly performance.

    In terms of looks, the twins have been known to split opinions amongst enthusiasts, with the bulkier X6 drawing slightly more flak for its outlook. Depending on where you stand on the spectrum, the BMW X5 M and X6 M are either the most ostentatious-looking crossovers or the epitome of aggressively-styled SUVs.

    Ask BMW, however, and it would seem to think that both models are still in need of aesthetic upgrades – this train of thought has led to the introduction of BMW M Performance Parts, developed specifically for the two uber-SUVs. Up front, the stock grille is swapped out for an all-black affair featuring the signature M colours.

    bmw-x5-m-performance-parts-12

    In profile, the side vents just aft of the front wheels on both models are now painted black. Racing stripes, in typical M colours, begin just below the front air intakes, runs the entire length of the profile and ends above the tail pipes on both models. Customers can also choose to have their side mirrors trimmed in carbon.

    Inside, a range of BMW M Performance Accessories helps to set a driver-oriented ambience. Scuff plates in brushed stainless steel with LED lighting are the first things to greet occupants. The M Performance steering wheel, trimmed in an Alcantara/carbon combo with a blue centre marker, adds to the atmosphere.

    Elsewhere, the centre console is now trimmed in a combination of Alcantara and carbon, while the gear selector for the eight-speed M Steptronic transmission is now doused in the lightweight stuff. Stainless steel M Performance pedals and specially-designed “easy-care” floor mats round off the entire package.

     
  • AD: Castrol Carama Safe Reunion Journey promotion

    castrol-carama-safe-reunion-journey-cny-promo

    Usher in the Year of the Sheep with a safe and reliable driving experience this Chinese New Year. Malaysia’s first online service for trusted car care, Carama by Castrol, is offering a safe reunion journey full car maintenance package at any of its workshops.

    For just RM128, you’ll enjoy an oil change with four litres of semi-synthetic oil (inclusive of oil filter, in the case of Proton and Perodua cars 1600cc and below), a 15-point safety check and brake inspection that includes an inspection of your disc pads, brake line, calipers and rotors, brake shoes, drums, air cleaning and topping up of the brake fluid if necessary.

    The 15-point safety check includes:

    • Battery water top up
    • Radiator water top up
    • Brake fluid top up
    • Power steering fluid top up
    • Windscreen washer tank top up
    • Air filter check
    • Spark plugs check
    • Windscreen wiper check
    • Drive belts check
    • Cooling hoses connections check
    • Tyre pressure check
    • Headlamps, tail lights, brakes and indicator lights check
    • Radiator leakage check
    • Tyres condition check
    • Battery terminal and cable check

    Here’s how it works. Visit Carama, and type in the location at which you would like to have your car serviced. Select your preferred workshop and click ‘Book Now’. Fill in the necessary details, enter the promo code CNY128 and submit your booking. All you have to do next is present your generated voucher at the workshop on the day of your appointment. The promotion is applicable at over 200+ workshops listed on Carama.

    Click here to proceed, and don’t forget to use the promo code CNY128!

    Comments are Disabled | Leave a comment?

     
  • Toyota confirms return to WRC in 2017, Yaris rally car

    toyota-wrc-heroes

    It wasn’t that long ago when the WRC felt like a deserted place, a two-horse race between Citroen and Ford. However, the top rally series has seen a recent revival with major carmakers such as MINI, Hyundai and Volkswagen coming in to try and win on Sunday, sell on Monday. They will soon be joined by the world’s largest carmaker, Toyota.

    Yes, the big T has confirmed a return to the FIA World Rally Championship in 2017, and the car that will be used is the Yaris. The B-segment hatchback is a natural choice and direct rival to the Ford Fiesta, Citroen DS3, Hyundai i20 and VW Polo in showrooms and soon, on special stages. The Yaris WRC will be developed and built by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) at its base in Cologne, Germany.

    The Yaris WRC features a 1.6 litre turbocharged direct-injection engine with over 300 hp. It has already completed a preliminary test programme on tarmac and gravel stages throughout Europe, and the preparation will continue over the next two years.

    A few young drivers have already tested the car and Eric Camilli, 27, has been selected as the first member of a junior driver development scheme. The Frenchman will carry out the development programme alongside last year’s Tour de Corse winner Stephane Sarrazin, also a racer in Toyota’s FIA World Endurance Championship team, and Sebastian Lindholm.

    Toyota is no stranger to rallying, of course. Those who follow the sport will no doubt remember the Castrol liveried Celica and Corolla rally cars driven by top drivers like Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen and Didier Auriol. It may seem like yesterday for some, but Toyota Team Europe’s last rally was actually in the last millennium! The 1999 season was TTE’s last.

    “To run two works motorsport programmes simultaneously (WEC and WRC) is of course a challenge but we believe we have the expertise and determination to succeed. There is much to do as we make the journey back to WRC but to have received the support of Toyota Motor Corporation and our President Akio Toyoda is already very encouraging,” said TMG president Yoshiaki Kinoshita.

    Toyoda, a certified petrolhead and possibly the coolest car boss in town, has in fact already tested the Yaris WRC. See him go sideways in the video above. Did anyone say boring?

     
  • New car prices dropped 7% on average last year, 20% reduction on average by end-2017 targeted – MITI

    CPR1 examples

    At the just-concluded National Automotive Policy (NAP 2014) status update, Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed claimed that on average, car prices dropped 7.01% across all models and variants introduced last year, compared to a 4.97% reduction in 2013.

    He said that the lower prices benefitted some 72.5% of Malaysian car buyers in 2014, and that the aim is to gradually reach an average 20% reduction by end-2017.

    The slide above undoubtedly raises a few eyebrows – we recognise the Mazda CX-5‘s RM15k drop as a result of local assembly (CKD), but we’re curious as to how the Honda Jazz‘s RM15,100 drop is derived. However, the previous-gen CKD Jazz petrol was priced at RM74,800, and its Hybrid counterpart RM89,900 – the difference is exactly RM15,100…

    CPR1

    With regards to the Perodua Myvi, the 2%, 6% and 3% drops probably represent the 2011 Premium to 2013 SE, down to 2014 XT and finally to the 2015 facelift. The Proton Saga‘s 13% drop of RM4,923 is likely derived from the difference between the 2011 Saga FLX Standard and the 2013 Saga SV.

    Under NAP 2014’s Car Price Reduction Framework, MITI expects car prices to go down through increased competition brought about by the liberalisation of the industry, rather than the reduction or abolishment of excise duties.

     
  • Euro 5 diesel to begin selling in Klang Valley this year

    Euro 4 and 5

    Today’s National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2014 status update also briefly touched on the subject of Euro 4 and Euro 5 fuels, with Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed reiterating the introduction timelines that were first announced in November last year.

    As mentioned, Euro 4 RON 97 petrol will arrive first in September 2015, followed by Euro 4 RON 95 petrol in October 2018. Diesel will get to Euro 5 standard in September 2020, and Euro 5 grade RON 95 and RON 97 petrol is scheduled to be introduced in September 2025.

    It was also announced that this year will see the rollout of fully-imported Euro 5 diesel to other states, especially in the Klang Valley, following the fuel’s introduction in Johor last year, though no specific timeframe was given for deployment.

    bmw-320d-infiniti-euro-5

    It’s likely the fuel will be made available via BHPetrol, which introduced its Infiniti Euro 5 Diesel last November – the fuel is currently available at 12 of its stations in Johor. Euro 5 diesel has a sulphur content of just 10 parts per million (ppm), compared to 500 ppm for current Euro 2M diesel.

    Following the introduction of Euro 5 in Johor, MITI said that oil companies were more than welcome to begin selling such fuels earlier than the gazetted dates.

     
  • No plans to extend CKD hybrid tax exemptions as yet

    Honda-Jazz-Hybrid

    At today’s National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2014 status update, Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed told the press that, as yet, there are no plans for the current import and excise duty exemptions for locally-assembled hybrid vehicles to be extended beyond December 2015.

    Incentives for CBU hybrids (with a engine capacity limit of 2.0 litres) and EVs were terminated with the introduction of NAP 2014 early last year, but those for CKD vehicles (this time without an engine size cap) continued to be doled out, with an end date set for the end of this year.

    This presents quite the conundrum – the previous-gen Honda Jazz Hybrid, Mercedes-Benz S 400 L Hybrid and E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid and Nissan Serena S-Hybrid are already being assembled here, while the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Honda City Hybrid and new Jazz Hybrid are expected to come in sometime later this year.

    W222_Mercedes-Benz_S_400_Hybrid_079

    As such, the industry players who are already involved in this scheme will no doubt be looking for a meaningful return of their investment in the country. And while there is still time for an extension to be announced, such late notice would not give manufacturers enough room to plan out their product introductions, usually occurring about a year in advance.

    One way we could see this pan out would be that the benefits for those who are already assembling hybrid vehicles in Malaysia would be grandfathered – meaning that the prices of those cars will remain the same even beyond 2015 – while the door would be closed for any new entries.

    Another alternative would be that the incentives would remain open on a case-by-case basis, for example through the country’s Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) policy. Either way, the insecurity this development brings isn’t likely to sit well with the car manufacturers.

     
  • Public not ready for Vehicle End of Life policy – TokPa

    kedai-potong

    The long-talked about Vehicle End of Life policy, first brought up at the end of 2009 and which resurfaced in another (proposed) form as the Cash for Clunkers scrappage scheme earlier this month, is apparently far from becoming a reality.

    In response to a question, Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said at the just-concluded National Automotive Policy (NAP 2014) status update that “the public is not ready” for such a scheme or policy, although he did not elaborate.

    The Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) said recently at its 2014/15 review and insight on the local automotive landscape that a Cash for Clunkers scheme could increase the Total Industry Volume (TIV) to 750,000 units, although it has been quick to add that the government has not yet approved such a scheme.

    In 2007, Proton introduced its own Proton Xchange Programme before discontinuing the scrappage scheme at the end of 2009. The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has also lobbied for such a programme to be implemented with annual sales of cars increasing, leading to more severe traffic congestions.

     
  • Indonesia poised to overtake Thailand in car output

    car-plant

    The gap in car output between current regional leader Thailand and Indonesia narrowed to its smallest ever last year in percentage terms, and Indonesia’s production may push past Thailand’s within a decade, says a Reuters report.

    According to ASEAN Auto Federation, Gaikindo and Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) data, Indonesian auto production grew seven percent in 2014 to 1.3 million vehicles while that of Thailand dropped 23% to 1.88 million units – considerably below the projected 2.1 million.

    This put Indonesian output at 69% of the Thai total, compared to 43% in 2012. Cited reasons for the Thai slowdown last year include political turmoil and shrinking domestic demand.

    Consulting manager at Ipsos Business Consulting’s Bangkok office Chukiat Wongtaveerat told Reuters that several carmakers, General Motors and Tata included, have been lured to set up shop in Indonesia, which could help the republic’s car output overtake Thailand’s in the next seven to 10 years. Indonesia is already South East Asia’s largest auto market.

    But the Land of Smiles could bounce back – an FTI Auto Industry Club spokesperson told the news agency that this year, Thai production is predicted to jump 17% to 2.2 million vehicles.

    “Even when Indonesia overtakes Thailand’s automotive production output, Thailand will still be a dominant player, with its component manufacturers providing many of the parts required by the assemblers in Indonesia. The challenge for Indonesia is to raise the quality of its product to be suitable for the global market, and to develop its domestic supply chain to match the quality of Thailand,” Chukiat told Reuters.

     
 

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