The review of the National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2014 will be finalised in the first half of 2018 at the latest, according to a report by Bernama. Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) chief executive officer Datuk Madani Sahari said that the review, conducted by MAI, will include the expansion of its scope to cover commercial vehicles and other aspects of mobility as a whole.

“Research is being done and we hope that, if there aren’t any obstacles, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) will be able to launch a new NAP by the first half of 2018,” he said, adding that since the policy was introduced in 2014, the prices of Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEV) have dropped by an average of 13.1% as of September 2017.

Madani also mentioned that as many as 105 EEV models have been introduced as of last month, and that through the implementation of the NAP, the government has provided incentives to EEV-producing carmakers in the form of duty exemptions. “For example, a duty reduction of RM10,000 must be transferred to the customer in the form of a RM10,000 reduction in the price of a car,” he said.

The government has set a target for EEV sales to make up 60% of total vehicle sales next year, Madani said, up from 45% currently. “In fact, we’re confident that this year’s 50% sales target for EEV models can be achieved, seeing as almost every carmaker builds their new models as EEVs,” he said.

Madani added that car prices in Malaysia are expected to remain competitive in line with consumer demands of better safety, comfort and environmental performance. “For example, the cheapest Perodua Axia is priced at RM25,800 and is among the cheapest cars in the world. It is an EEV and is equipped with safety and convenience features,” he said.

He gave an example of the Honda City, which he claimed was previously priced between RM60,000 and RM65,000 in Thailand and RM90,000 in Malaysia. In contrast, Madani said, Malaysians can now buy an automatic model for RM75,000 whereas a manual model costs RM69,000 in Thailand.

It should be noted that Madani’s comparison isn’t exactly like-for-like. The current City is still priced at around RM90k for the top-spec V model – RM89,240, to be exact – and the RM75k figure given for the current model is for the base S trim, which is priced at RM75,930.

“We can see a reduction in the price gap, and yet products in Malaysia are among the best in Asia,” Madani said. “This is one of the aspects that we need to look at, not just lower prices but competitive prices with safety, convenience and environmental impact taken into consideration.”