The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development has approved approximately RM20 million in funding for the new national car project (NNCP), which will help to attract the private sector to develop a prototype.

In a report by Bernama, entrepreneur development minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof said the funds were sourced from existing grants that have already been approved. This will be part of the research and development (R&D) grant used to attract the participation of the private sector in the NNCP.

“The idea is that we become the catalyst for the new national car project. I’m not developing the third national car project, I am facilitating to create an environment for the new national car project,“ he said, adding that the ministry has already shortlisted several vendors that will be part of the endeavor.

As previously stated by finance minister Lim Guan Eng, the project will need the involvement of the private sector as the government will not sink any funds into the project. However, the NNCP can benefit from the government’s allocation for R&D activities, which is what’s happening here.

In October 2018, Mohd Redzuan revealed the timelines for the NNCP, whereby the new national car’s name will be announced by the end of 2018, although nothing was revealed at the time.

Following that, a prototype for the NNCP model is expected to be ready by early 2019, ahead of a 2020 roll out. The car is expected to feature semi-autonomous capabilities and advanced safety features, while remaining affordable.