The National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2019 could be presented to Cabinet next week for approval in order to be launched by the end of the year, according to Bernama. The public will have the opportunity to scrutinise the new policy after it has been given the go-ahead by Cabinet, said international trade and industry minister Datuk Darell Leiking.

“What’s more important is (that) works are in progress because we want to add a lot of things. As you can see in the coming days, if not weeks and months, something new will come of it and we have to be adaptive to it as well,” the minister said, adding that the draft for the new NAP has been finalised.

In January, Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said at the association’s annual press conference that it hopes the programme will continue in its current form as it has benefited car companies as a whole by ensuring car prices remained competitive.

The National Automotive Policy was earlier said to be in review last July, and was previously thought to be announced in the second quarter of this year. More recently, NAP 2019 was being prepared for launch and will be implemented in three phases until 2030, in order to maintain the continuity of NAP 2014 as well as other elements to prepare Malaysia for becoming a producer of EEVs (energy efficient vehicles), Malaysia Automotive, Robotic and IoT Institute (MARii) CEO Datuk Madani Sahari said in September.

The latest NAP will also see MARii shift its focus to the ‘next-generation vehicle’ (NxGV), and the first phase will focus on battery production, management systems and the establishment of EV charging stations, while the following stages will focus on other technological advancements such as 5G connectivity, Madani said at the time.

Requirements for a national car will also be defined in the forthcoming NAP 2019, with six criteria listed: it has to be majority-owned by Malaysians, receive its funding from the public sector, be comprised of 75% local supply chain, 98% local workers, have research and development conducted in Malaysia as well as to take steps “to follow NxGV as a service and the adaptation of Industrial Revolution 4.0.”

These criteria apply to current national carmakers Proton and Perodua, as well as the entity for the new national car project, which has been confirmed to involve Daihatsu and DreamEdge. The full definition of the ‘next-generation vehicle’ is to be ready by early 2022, and implementation to begin in 2025.