The new national car project (NNCP) will make its debut in 2020, and it will be very much a Malaysian-based development, according to entrepreneur development minister Mohd Redzuan Yusof.

This was revealed at a press briefing on the project earlier today at the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (Might) headquarters in Cyberjaya. The organisation, which is under the purview of the prime minister’s department, has been appointed to communicate the various facets of the project. It will also coordinate the NNCP with various government ministries, agencies and the industry.

According to Mohd Redzuan, the name of the vehicle will be announced by the end of this year, while the prototype for the NNCP model is expected to be ready by early next year. The vehicle, which is expected to feature semi-autonomous driving capability, will see the participation of names that are fresh to the automotive scene.

“We are now shortlisting two to three partners to participate in this project, including SilTerra and CTRM, and expect things to be concluded by year-end,” he said.

SilTerra is a Malaysian semiconductor manufacturer based in Kulim, while Composites Technology Research Malaysia (CTRM) manufactures composites components primarily for aeronautical structures, although it is now moving into other fields such as manufacturing composite components for light rail transit and automotive applications.

Mohd Redzuan said that the NNCP will revitalise the national automotive industry and help the parts and components industry that drives small and medium enterprises (SMEs) grow.

He added that the effort to introduce a high-tech automotive manufacturing platform with the new national car will provide local companies the opportunity to explore new businesses and technologies.

The project is slated to promote growth in a number of areas, developing more than 500 new automotive suppliers and vendors as well as more than 100 new entrepreneurs as a result of its formation. It is also expected to result in the creation of a large number of jobs for Malaysians.

The ambition, he said, was to deliver a car that will not only cater to the local market but regionally and beyond. He added that the project would not involve taxpayer money but will be fully funded by the private sector, with the help of several government ministries.