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An update on the New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP) – the pilot project will be completed with the announcement of ASEAN NCAP Phase III results, expected at the end of March. First phase results were announced in February last year, and Phase II test results in August.

Details are expected to be released then at the ASEAN NCAP Open Day, which is set to take place in Bangkok, though a final decision on the venue will be decided in mid-February given the political situation in the Kingdom. If the event cannot be held in Thailand, then the event will be moved to its “Plan B” venue, which is Malaysia – a delay in the announcement of results is expected by a month or two if this happens.

Phase III evaluation will include the testing of pickups as well as models from various origins (OEMs from India, China and France). Left-hand drive (LHD) cars will be evaluated for the first time.

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Testing for this phase will also be carried out in Japan at the Japan Automobile Research Institute (JARI) lab in Tsukuba, with the assistance of Australasian NCAP. The JARI facility is an appointed ASEAN NCAP official test lab, and the programme’s first test lab outside the ASEAN region. Testing will also take place in Korea for the first time in KATRI, with the collaboration of Korea NCAP.

A total of 11 models, with two models in both lowest and premium versions, are due to be evaluated, making for a total of 13 results at the end of Phase III testing.

Elsewhere, on the road-map front, the conclusion of testing in phases (the pilot stage is divided into three phases) means that the agency will now operate like other NCAP organisations, in which testing and the release of results are routinely carried out. It’s also set to, like Japan NCAP, introduce the Grand Prix award later this year.