The review of the National Automotive Policy (NAP) is on course to be revealed at the end of the year, and deputy minister of international trade and industry Dr Ong Kian Ming said that the new plan will incorporate electric vehicles and autonomous driving technologies.

Speaking at the Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Conference (KLIAC) 2018 today, Ong said, “Since [the last NAP review in 2014], we have moved on in terms of the technology of the automotive sector, for example electric vehicles and now also autonomous vehicles. This is part and parcel of the larger ecosystem that we need to take into account when we talk about the NAP review.”

Ong added that the upcoming review will also be sympathetic towards automotive parts makers. “Our own component makers, many of them being local players, supply 70 to 80% of the component parts to the automotive industry.

“So it’s important, as we are undergoing the NAP review, that the needs of our components parts makers vendors are also taken care of. And those needs do not just include what is happening here in Malaysia, but also take into account the many export opportunities that they have to ASEAN and beyond,” he said, adding that the new national car project (NNCP) will only form part of a more holistic review of the NAP.

Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) CEO Datuk Madani Sahari elaborated on the details of the review, saying that it will also incorporate Mobility as a Service (MaaS) operators – including ride-hailing companies such as Grab – as well as artificial intelligence and connected services as part of Industry 4.0. However, he insisted that the review will not nullify the policies outlined in the 2014 review.

“The previous NAP talked about EEV [Energy Efficient Vehicles], but more importantly it talked about enhancing the competitiveness of the Malaysian automotive industry. In order to be competitive, there is the element of technology that we need to acquire, we need to adopt, we need to deploy, we need to commercialise. The aspects of the NAP will remain the same; we are adding in all the new elements to move the industry forward.”