The National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP 2020) was officially launched in KL this morning by prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. It aims to push the country towards becoming a regional leader in automotive manufacturing, engineering and technology, and is very much an enhancement of NAP 2014, expanding on the outlines seen previously.

In a nutshell, NAP 2020 consists of three directional thrusts and three strategies as well as seven roadmaps/blueprints to be implemented to the year 2030. The directions include a focus on Next Generation Vehicles (NxGVs), Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and Industry 4.0, and the plan will incorporate the development of Automated, Autonomous, Connected Vehicles (AACV), light weight material tech as well as hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles.

Local carmaker Proton is lauding the government’s push in transforming Malaysia to a hub for the development and production of NxGVs and critical components. In a statement, the carmaker says that the new strategy presents opportunities to automotive industry stakeholders to introduce new technologies, while also elevating the skills and capabilities of local vendors.

Proton says that with its ownership structure (50.1% DRB-Hicom, 49.9% Geely), the company is able to leverage on its shareholder strengths – local ecosystem access via DRB-Hicom and access to new tech via Geely – to seize opportunities presented by NAP 2020.

“At this early stage however, Proton will continue with its schedule of investing in new products and technologies as well as plant and manufacturing facilities. The company will also continue to work with local vendors and promote investments in new technologies, especially through strategic collaborations to infuse technical capabilities and expand commercial viability,” the statement added.

“The unveiling of NAP 2020 shows Malaysia is moving towards the adoption of new technology vehicles featuring electric and hybrid powertrains as well as autonomous and connectivity technologies. Proton’s two shareholders grant us access to Malaysia’s automotive industry ecosystem as well as the technologies needed for NxGV models, one of the main thrusts of the policy,” said Proton CEO Li Chunrong.

“There are still many steps to take and Proton is confident with the correct policies in place, we will be able to contribute towards Malaysia achieving the goals set out in NAP 2020,” he added. More on the NAP 2020 here.

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