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  • MG ZS EV SUV put on display by PMC during TPB2030

    Besides the Great Wall Motors Ora Good Cat, there was another electric vehicle put on display at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in conjunction with the launch of the Bumiputera Development Action 2030 on Monday.

    Beneath the camouflage bearing Protech Master Coach (PMC) branding is an MG ZS EV, a model that was previously reported to go on sale in Malaysia in May 2020 via MG Berjaya. However, that didn’t happen, and the public display of the EV at KLCC is not indicative that this will happen anytime soon.

    Speaking to a PMC spokesperson at the event, our sister site was told that there are currently no plans to fully import (CBU) or rebadge the ZS EV for sale in our market. Instead, the unit you see here has been in the country for some time now now, and in the past two months, has been used for R&D purposes by the company.

    The R&D work is not to evaluate the model’s feasibility for Malaysia, but to evaluate and identify components that could be produced by existing industry players here. The spokesperson noted PMC is capable of performing reverse engineering to determine if there are components that a local vendor could manufacture here, which would contribute to strengthening the local supplier ecosystem in relation to EVs.

    The company has also collaborated with SIRIM previously on producing electric buses which are claimed to be currently used in Melaka (pictured in the gallery below). With the ZS EV acting as a test bed, it is looking for opportunities to incorporate electrification technologies into mass-market models.

    The spokesperson explained the ZS EV was chosen because the model is widely sold in China and the United Kingdom, and has proven to be capable and durable as a mass-market EV. While we won’t be getting the ZS EV here, the electric B-segment SUV has been sold in Thailand since June 2019.

  • Volkswagen Group still exploring Porsche IPO – report

    According to a recent report by Reuters, Volkswagen is still looking into a possible initial public offering (IPO) of Porsche as a means to fund the sports car maker’s push into software and electrification development.

    A Porsche IPO has been widely rumoured for some time now, although there has been no clear indication that it will happen. In August, Volkswagen Group board chairman Herbert Diess said that any steps to take Porsche public “would have to be carefully considered.”

    Reports claim a possible public listing of Porsche could result in a pretty substantial valuation of between 45 billion and 90 billion euros (around RM214.6 billion and RM429.1 billion, or USD50.8 billion and USD101.6 billion).

    However, sources told the news organization that “no decision has been made due to a complex stakeholder setup.” Currently, the Porsche and Piech families control Porsche Automobil Holding SE (Porsche SE), which holds a 31.4% stake in the Volkswagen Group, making it the company’s largest shareholder and giving the families 53.3% of voting rights.

    This makes a Porsche IPO a complicated affair, although Germany’s Handelsblatt previously reported the families are considering selling part of their Volkswagen Group stake – around 15 billion euros (around RM71.5 billion) worth – to fund a substantial equity purchase in a possible Porsche IPO. Porsche SE said this was “pure speculation,” while Volkswagen declined to comment on the matter.


  • 2022 Kia Carens teased ahead of December 16 debut

    Kia has shown the upcoming Carens in a series of official sketch images ahead of its debut in Gurugram, India on December 16. In contrast to outgoing generation that was a compact MPV, this is a three-row SUV designed for the Indian market, in the vein of the Hyundai Alcazar.

    In addition to the previous teaser, the Carens now shows its LED headlamps and daytime running lights, as well as its iteration of the carmaker’s Tiger Face front-end design. No measurements so far, though for reference, the Alcazar is 4,500 mm long with a 2,760 mm wheelbase, 1,790 mm wide and 1,675 mm tall.

    Technical specifications for the 2022 Carens remains undisclosed, though this is likely drawn from the Alcazar and thus could use that model’s 2.0 litre naturally aspirated inline-four petrol which produces 159 PS and 191 Nm of torque, as well as a 1.5 litre turbodiesel that makes 115 PS and 250 Nm of torque. The Alcazar gets a choice of six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.

    Inside, the Carens interior has been designed to meet the lifestyle needs and daily usage preferences of its target market in India, says Kia, and here the wraparound dashboard employs a continuous arc across the width of the vehicle’s interior.

    Inside, infotainment is provided by a 10.25-inch Audio Video Navigation Telematics (AVNT) display in the centre of the dashboard, which is the same size as the unit found in the Hyundai Alcazar. No mention was made regarding driver instrumentation, though as a reference, the higher trim variants of the Alcazar features digital instrument cluster also measuring 10.25 inches across.

    “The Kia Carens is a true reflection of what today’s customers want from their three-row vehicles,” said Kia Design Center chief Karim Habib. What do you think of its latest form compared to the previous-generation MPV?

  • UMW Toyota Motor sold 8,486 units in November 2021 – YTD now at 63,105 units, 26% increase from 2020

    UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) has announced that it delivered a total of 8,486 units of Toyota and Lexus vehicles in November, a slight decrease of 14 units (-0.16%) from the 8,500 units it achieved in October. The performance last month was an improvement over the 8,033 units that it reported in September.

    The total for the month consisted of 6,620 passenger cars and 1,866 commercial vehicles (including pick-ups). The company said that among its passenger car models, the Vios continued to lead the way, accounting for 33% of its sales for the month, while the Hilux remained the best selling pick-up truck in Malaysia, a position it has held since 2005.

    In terms of year-to-date figures, the company reported that it had reached a total of 63,105 units for the period from January to November, which is 26% higher than the same period in 2020, when it managed 50,074 units.

    “The continued growth of the market is a sign that we are steadily progressing towards recovery. The new normal means that some things have to be done differently and we have to be conscious of SOPs, and at Toyota, we have adapted our processes accordingly. Customers can visit our showrooms or send their vehicles to authorised service centres with peace of mind that they are protected health-wise,” said UMWT president Ravindran Kurusamy.

    “During the final month of the year, we will have great deals and with our ‘Now Is The Time’ promotion, there are savings of up to RM5,500 on selected models. Additionally, the government’s exemption of sales tax is ongoing, which means additional savings,” he added.

  • JPJ offering up to 80% discount for saman, Dec 9-12

    After the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) announced it would be offering discounts on summons in conjunction with the 100-Days of Malaysian Family Aspirations programme that begins tomorrow, the Road Transport Department (JPJ) has now done the same.

    In an official release, the JPJ said from December 9-12, it will be offering up to 80% off outstanding summons, with the exception of cases registered in court, including those with the status of arrest warrant or trial.

    Those looking to pay off their summons at a discounted rate can do so at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) within the four-day period, where the JPJ will have kiosk and mobile unit facilities prepared. Alternatively, you can also take up the offer at JPJ offices, branches, UTC outlets and kiosks nationwide, as well as via the MySikap online portal.

    Keep in mind that those who have been blacklisted will need to physically present at a JPJ counter for re-documentation before any payment can be made. The public is advised to check their summons status, especially records relating to AES summons, to ensure they are eligible for any discounts.

  • Hyundai Palisade launching in Malaysia December 16

    Hyundai-Sime Darby Motor (HSDM) has locked down a date for the launch of the Palisade – the ginormous flagship SUV will make its virtual local debut this Thursday, December 16, according to an event on the company’s official Facebook page.

    Full specifications were already released last week, the car set to come with either seven or eight seats. Both configurations will be offered with the choice of either a 200 PS/440 Nm 2.2 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine or a massive 3.8 litre naturally-aspirated V6 punching out 295 PS and 355 Nm of torque. Both mills are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, although only the diesel gets all-wheel drive.

    All models are very similarly equipped, incorporating full-LED exterior lighting, 20-inch Y-spoke alloy wheels, power-adjustable seats with ventilation (including at the rear for the seven-seater models), Nappa leather upholstery, triple-zone climate control (with the world’s first diffusing rear air vents), an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, twin sunroofs and a powered tailgate.

    However, only the V6 models get Hyundai’s SmartSense suite of driver assistance features, including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane centring assist, blind spot and rear cross traffic collision avoidance, automatic high beam and front departure alert. Six airbags, stability control, hill descent control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a door opening warning and a rear seat reminder are standard across the board.

    GALLERY: Hyundai Palisade official global photos

  • Peugeot to be fully EV brand in Europe by 2030 – CEO

    Peugeot CEO Linda Jackson has revealed that the company will be a fully electric-only brand in Europe by 2030. Every new model it launches from 2030 will be electric, but it will continue building internal combustion-based models for other markets, she told Automotive News Europe.

    “As we move on to the new [Stellantis] platforms, STLA Small, Medium, Large, by 2030 in Europe all of our models will be electric. But I still have to make sure I maintain internal combustion offerings for my international customers,” she told the publication.

    STLA, or more affectionately known as Stella, is designed to underpin a range of body styles and sizes, from A-segment city cars to body-on-frame commercial vehicles. It also developed a scalable three-in-one electric drive module (EDM) that combines the motor, gearbox and inverter into one compact unit. This can be configured for front-drive, rear-drive, all-wheel drive and also 4xe, as with the plug-in hybrids Jeeps. Stella can also be used to develop ICE cars.

    Peugeot’s goal to move away from ICE to EV comes five years ahead of the EU’s proposal to mandate zero-emissions vehicles in 2035. Its sister brands are making the transition quicker – DS plans to go electric by 2026, Alfa Romeo by 2027, and Opel/Vauxhall by 2028.

    Currently, Peugeot’s line-up is already 70% electrified. Only the soon-to-be discontinued 108 minicar and 5008 SUV are not electrified. Popular models like the 208, 2008, 308, 3008, and 508 have hybrid options.

    Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said the company is targeting more than 70% of European sales to be low-emissions vehicles (hybrid or fully electric) by 2030, and over 40% for the US market.

  • Opel Vivaro seen in Malaysia – Stellantis to assemble commercial van in Gurun plant for export markets?

    After an Opel Mokka was spotted in Malaysia last month, another Opel model has now been sighted on our roads. This time, it’s the Vivaro, which is a commercial van that’s also marketed as a Vauxhall in selected markets, and is related to the Citroen Jumpy, Peugeot Expert and Toyota ProAce.

    All the mentioned models (except the Mokka) have a slightly different look to them, but they are all built on the EMP2 platform developed by Groupe PSA, which has since merged with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to form Stellantis.

    As reported in November, Stellantis has already secured full ownership of Naza Automotive Manufacturing (NAM) and its manufacturing plant in Gurun, Kedah, so could the Vivaro be another model that will be locally assembled (CKD) here?

    In the past few months, we’ve seen a number of models from the Stellantis portfolio making the rounds here, all lightly camouflaged and wearing trade plates. These include the Citroen C4 and C3, the DS3 Crossback and DS9, as well as the latest Peugeot 508 and 2008. While some of these models could be launched here, others may have been brought in for evaluation purposes and could be built here for export markets.

    Getting back to the Vivaro, this example was seen along Persiaran Jengka in Subang Jaya and sports a white paintjob and wheel covers for its steelies. The van also sports a crew cab body rather than being a full-on panel van, which doesn’t have rear side windows. The Vivaro is also offered with a longer body and there’s also a passenger-focused version called the Vivaro Life that comes with proper windows and a more comfort-oriented interior.

    The Vivaro’s sister models mentioned at the start also have their own passenger-focused versions, namely the Citroen SpaceTourer, Toyota ProAce Verso and Peugeot Traveller, the last of which was previously sold in Malaysia when the Naza Group was at the helm of the Peugeot brand (through Nasim) – Bermaz Auto has since taken over the reigns of the French brand.

  • Honda Malaysia focused on hybrid vehicles – no plans on introducing EVs yet, working with gov’t on policy

    Honda Malaysia has gone all in on hybrid technology, having sold locally-assembled petrol-electric models on our shores since 2012. The company continues to offer these vehicles in the form of the City e:HEV RS, which will gain a hatchback variant early next year.

    What it hasn’t done is introduce any fully-electric models, and it looks to stay that way at least in the next few years. During a press conference after the launch of the City Hatchback today, Honda Malaysia said that it is sticking to hybrid vehicles at the moment as part of its electrification strategy. “At the moment we feel that hybrids [are the way to go for] electrification and we are focusing on hybrid models in the near future,” said executive coordinator Yujiro Sugino.

    President and COO Sarly Adle Sarkum appeared to hedge those comments, saying that the recent timing of the government’s proposal to eliminate all taxes and duties on electric vehicles hasn’t given the company enough time to formulate an electric vehicle strategy for the market.

    The Honda e is currently sold only in Japan and Europe

    “The government policy has just been released [and] it’s still in [its infancy],” said president and COO Sarly Adle Sarkum. “It’s not that we’re not taking the plunge, but we’re looking closely [at everything], including official details. Now, we’re following up with the government to see if there are any opportunities that we can take action on moving forward.”

    At the moment, Honda sells just one electric vehicle globally, the Honda e. The five-door hatchback is only available in Japan and Europe and is positioned as a fashionable urban runabout, offering a range of only 222 km on the WLTP cycle. Buyers get a choice of either 100 kW (136 PS) or 113 kW (154 PS) from the single electric motor, which produces 315 Nm of torque and is juiced by a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery.

    Although the e isn’t being brought in through official means by Honda Malaysia, you can buy one via grey importer Weststar Motors. Mind you, it isn’t cheap – a UK-spec top-of-the-range Advance model recently sold for RM210,000. Although the price will definitely come down with zero taxes and duties, the e would still have a hard time competing with the recently-launched Hyundai Kona Electric and the forthcoming Ora Good Cat – both of which have vastly superior range figures at attractive prices.

    Honda has a new range of EVs coming – but only in China

    More impressive from a range standpoint are the e:NS1 and e:NP1. Based on the new third-generation HR-V, these B-segment crossovers are claimed to be able to travel a massive 500 km between charges. These cars, however, will only be offered in China and are unlikely to be sold outside of the Middle Kingdom.

    At the very least, Honda’s e:HEV hybrid technology is as close as you can get to an electric vehicle without ditching the internal combustion engine completely. The electric motor powers the car most of the time, drawing energy from a petrol-powered generator. The latter only drives the wheels directly at higher speeds (where it is most efficient) or when assisting the motor under hard acceleration.

    The tech allows users to experience the feel of driving a full electric vehicle without range anxiety. Expect it to make its way to more models in Malaysia, including the forthcoming new Civic and HR-V (in fact, the latter can only be had as a hybrid in Thailand).

  • Police crackdown on illegal and fancy number plates – 24,909 fined for related offences throughout November

    Bukit Aman traffic investigation and enforcement department (JSPT) has announced that police issued a total of 74,437 summonses during its month-long Op Khas (Nombor Pendaftaran) exercise that ran in November. Of these, 24,909 were for number plate offences.

    According to JSPT director Datuk Mat Kasim Karim, the special operation, aimed at curbing the use of illegal vehicle registration plates, saw 7,874 summonses issued to motorists for having fancy plates, while 14,923 summonses were given for licence plates not conforming to specifications. Another 2,112 summonses were issued to individuals for vehicles not having or displaying a licence plate.

    In a statement, he said that out of the 24,909 summonses issued for number plate offences, motorcycles accounted for 49.45% (12,318 summonses), while cars made up 42.35% of the total (10,549 summonses), with the rest involving 4WD vehicles, lorries and other vehicles. The remaining 49,528 summonses were for other traffic offences.

    He reminded all vehicle owners to comply with rules outlined in specifications set under the Road Transport Act (APJ) 1987 when installing vehicle registration numbers on their vehicles. It is an offence to put number plates that do not conform to specifications on vehicles – these include illegal stylised fonts and surfaces (such as carbon print) and fancy plates, with merged or modified letters/numbers to read a phrase, name or other meaning.

    During the operation, 11 individuals were also detained under the APJ 1987, three people under the penal code, 20 under the Dangerous Drugs Act and one for an unspecified offence. The police also seized 111 vehicles under Section 64 (1) of the APJ 1987.


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Last Updated 02 Dec 2021