The government says that the local automotive industry should not just focus on growth in the production and sales of new vehicles, but give equal emphasis to the development of the manufacture and export of Malaysian-made vehicle parts and components, Bernama reports.

According to the minister of international and Industry Datuk Darell Leiking, this will ensure that the manufacture and export of Malaysian-made vehicle parts and components grow in parallel with top-tier vehicle production.

“The manufacturing of vehicle parts and components is of equal importance to the success of the automotive industry, as it creates more business and career opportunities for Malaysians in the high-value automotive chain. They are essentially the elements that define the final product,” he said via a statement.

He said that compared to vehicle assembly, the diversity of manufacturing processes, multiplicity of specialisation and varying levels of complexity make parts and components a key target sector to spur local competencies in engineering and technology adoption, particularly among small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

He emphasised the importance of continuous growth in the expansion of capacities and capabilities of local automotive manufacturers to meet changes in a fast evolving market. “While MITI is working hard to address concerns among certain quarters of the industry on our readiness to develop high-technology products such as autonomous technology, we cannot deny that such disruption will eventually render our current capabilities obsolete in the future,” he said.

“The only way forward is a fully concerted effort from the industry, government and research sectors to devise new solutions to ensure we reach the appropriate levels of compliance to global market demand,” he added. He urged businesses to take part in the numerous government programmes to accelerate their capabilities in activities such as product and process design.

Malaysia’s parts and components sector reported total exports of RM6.76 billion in the first half of 2019, achieving 52% of its full-year target of RM13 billion that has been set for it. Exports have grown in the last five years from RM4.7 billion in 2014 to RM12.1 billion in 2018, and was the strongest growth performer for the industry in 2018.