According to a report by Berita Harian, car companies in Malaysia are unable to provide official pricing for certain models as they have yet to receive the approval from a government body.

Among the affected models include the Proton X70, which is slated to make its official launch debut on December 12. The SUV isn’t the only one either, as the Honda HR-V RS revealed in July 2018 has yet to be given an official price, although Honda Malaysia is currently accepting bookings for the B-segment crossover.

The list also includes Toyota models like the Rush and Vios, as well as from other makes, with just estimated pricing being made available for now.

The government body in question is comprised of various government ministries and departments, including the Ministry of Finance (MoF), Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Royal Malaysian Customs Department and Road Transport Department (JPJ).

Datuk Aishah Ahmad, president of the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), said, “the approval from the ministry is a little slow and this is a fact. Among the factors are the change in government and introduction of new rules.”

“Previously, the MoF provided the approval, but now, most processes involve the government and must go through MITI, MoF, the Customs Department and JPJ. Therefore, many cars that are set to be launched have not been approved by the government in relation to the Industrial Adjustment Fund,” she added.

However, Aishah stated that the pricing of vehicles is still very much at the discretion of car companies. “If [they] want to sell it at a high price, it’s doable, but market conditions are the most suitable to determine pricing,” she noted, adding that consumers will always witness the competition between automotive companies to determine and obtain the product that best fits their needs.

“In the meantime, industry experts and market analysts are skeptical about the delayed approval of new vehicle pricing, believing the industry could face problems in the future. Industry sources say the automotive industry should adopt an open market and allow for more competition while offering equal chances,” Aishah commented.

“There is still protectionism in the local automotive scene for the benefit of certain industry players. We should allow for more competition so consumers are given better choices when it comes to vehicle prices,” she continued.

The MAA president also claimed competition between car companies could have a role in the delay of new car price announcements. This is because companies may want to wait for their competitors to take the first step in announcing their prices before they make their move.

Other possible reasons for the delay in announcing vehicle prices, Aishah said, is the uncertainty involving the tax mechanism used and special incentives provided to car companies. The latter includes things like Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) status, as well as any incentives associated with fully-imported (CBU) and locally-assembled (CKD) models.