The just-concluded Budget 2013 speech made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak didn’t include any news involving the auto sector.
Last year, the biggest news was that the full import tax and excise duty exemption for hybrid/electric cars and motorcycles announced in Budget 2011 had been extended to Dec 31, 2013. Nothing was mentioned this year, presumably due to the fact that the incentive runs until the end of next year, so any announcement on a further extension can be made in the next Budget.
Of course, making an announcement very early on would ensure that the industry can conduct proper stock and product planning, always a good thing. However, there may be no need to wait that long, because the upcoming National Automotive Policy (NAP) review by MITI is expected to cover all automotive-related matters, although when that will be revealed is not yet known.
Back in April, it was reported that the final draft of the review was due to be presented to the Cabinet, and while no details were revealed, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapha Mohamad was quoted as saying that the review will push for a more liberal local market, among other things.
Meanwhile, the market continues to face uncertainty as the buying public waits in anticipation of news of a possible reduction in car duties/taxes. The lack of any development in Budget 2013 means that speculation will continue, affecting sales. Certain dealerships are already reporting a drop in sales, by as high as 50%.
Full text of Budget 2013 speech after the jump.