The government says it in the midst of restructuring the action plan for the National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP 2020), which was unveiled in February, to ensure the country’s automotive sector remains competitive following the Covid-19 pandemic, the New Straits Times reports.

According to minister of international trade and industry Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, the global outbreak had triggered “unintended economic consequences” on many sectors in the country, including the automotive sector, which had been affected in terms of investment, production and sales.

Speaking at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, he said that the restructuring exercise will see the government intensifying its efforts to attract more investments in high-technology segments and environmentally-friendly vehicles as well as in the development of a local skilled-workforce.

He said this in response to a question by Ong Kian Ming (PH-Bangi) on the estimation of the total industry volume (TIV) for the automotive sector this year following the outbreak. Ong also asked if the government planned to introduce more targeted assistance and incentives to stimulate the automotive industry.

“The sales of vehicles revived and experienced an increase following the government’s decision to reopen almost all economic sectors beginning May 4. The TIV reached 22,960 units for May. The figures, however, is way lower from the TIV recorded during the same month last year, which was 60,790,” he said.

Azmin added that the sales of motorcycles were also badly affected during the peak of the pandemic, with no sales transactions being made in April. “The sales of motorcycles, however, recovered in the following months, with 19,507 units and 42,190 units sold in May and June respectively,” he said.

He said that the 100% sales tax exemption on locally-assembled (CKD) models and 50% on fully-imported (CBU) models until December 31, announced as part of the Penjana economic recovery plan, would help to revive the sales of passenger vehicles in the domestic market.

Separately, to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian) about the continued development of the new national car project (NNCP), Azmin said the present administration had a framework to ensure all criteria of the vehicle must be adhered to.

“At the moment, we want to ensure that the Bumiputera company that was given the responsibility to develop the car will cooperate with MARii (Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute) to continue with such efforts. Having that said, this initiative is a private initiative and receives no allocation from the government,” he replied.

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