The investment to develop and manufacture the new national car could reach as high as RM1 billion, according to a projection in an analyst report. The launch date of the car has also been extended by a year.

In its report, Affin Hwang Investment Bank said that Malaysian company DreamEdge, which is the lead in the project, has set aside a minimum of RM600 million as the initial start-up cost, but dealership network establishment and production-related preparation costs could see cost overruns of up to RM1 billion.

The research report – which was picked up by The Star and the Malaysian Reserve – adds that DreamEdge, which is currently in active discussions with several parties on funding, is aiming to sell at least 3,000 cars a month in the first year of sales, leading to an annual rate of 36,000 units a year.

There has also been a revision to the timeline. In a meeting with Affin Hwang, DreamEdge revealed that a working prototype of the car is on track for release by mid-2020, with full production set to take place by the first half of 2022.

This means another year has now been added to the project’s timeline. Initial projections stated at the announcement of the project in August said that the first model prototype of the new national car would be shown in March 2020, with the final product set to make its market debut in March 2021.

It was also stated at the announcement that an engineering capability model mock-up was slated to be shown at the end of that month, but there has been no sign of the mock-up, nearly four months in.

The Affin Hwang report, authored by analyst Brian Yeoh, reiterated that the model is a plus-sized B-segment sedan as originally reported by this publication (it was initially mentioned as a C-segment unit during the project announcement, and later corrected).

The car will be powered either by an internal combustion engine or a hybrid powertrain, and is expected to feature technologies such as connectivity and advanced driver assistance systems. It will be built by a contract manufacturer, with rumours of this being Daihatsu subsidiary Perodua.

The design concept and development of the car will be led by DreamEdge, with technology partner Daihatsu – which confirmed its involvement in the project in October – handling the development of the powertrain and providing the platform. DreamEdge however stated during the meeting with Affin Hwang that the car would not be another rebadged Daihatsu.