The revised National Automotive Policy (NAP) will be launched on February 21 by prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The date of the policy’s launch was revealed by international trade and industry minister Datuk Darell Leiking earlier today at a MITI monthly gathering, as Astro Awani reports.

The policy has been in review since July last year, and was previously due to be announced in the second quarter of 2019. However, this was delayed, with the policy only being presented to the Cabinet for approval in November 2019. In December, Leiking said that the NAP would be announced early this year.

The Q1 launch was reiterated last month by Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) president Datuk Aishah Ahmad during the announcement of the association’s vehicle sales data for 2019 and outlook for 2020.

She had indicated that there would be no major changes in the policy from that which has been drafted. “I think they have indicated in the draft, there’s not much changes from what is mentioned there. The next-generation vehicle, mobility, accessories and EEV incentives. It will be the same,” she said.

Last September, Malaysia Automotive, Robotic and IoT Institute (MARii) CEO Datuk Madani Sahari had said that the new NAP will be implemented in three phases until 2030, with the first phase ensuring the continuity of NAP 2014 and introducing necessary elements to prepare the country to become a producer of EEVs (energy efficient vehicles).

The new policy is expected to see a shift in focus from energy-efficient vehicles (EEV) to the ‘next-generation vehicle’ (NxGV), with the first phase of this focusing 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.

The criteria for a national car will also be defined in the policy. As previously reported, six criteria make up the requirements: it has to be majority-owned by Malaysians, receive its funding from the public sector, be comprised of 75% local supply chain, have 98% local workers, have research and development conducted in Malaysia as well as to take steps to align with the definition of next-generation vehicles.

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