Mercedes-Benz Malaysia says its electrification plans remain, but greater clarity in gov’t EV direction needed

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia says its electrification plans remain, but greater clarity in gov’t EV direction needed

In 2019, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) previewed the Mercedes-Benz EQC, the automaker’s first fully-fledged production electric vehicle (EV), with the intent of introducing it here sometime in 2020. The EQC 400 4Matic was expected to retail at around RM600,000 when it eventually showed up.

It didn’t, and nearly two years on, things are looking decidedly static for the brand where electrification is concerned. However, the company says its plans to deploy EVs from its EQ sub-brand into the market remains in the pipeline, although it states that greater clarity on the government’s EV direction is needed before any real movement happens.

“We definitely have a plan to bring electric vehicles to Malaysia, but from a feasibility viewpoint, we first need to know what kind of incentives, what kind of production environment or regulations there are in the market,” said MBM president and CEO Claus Weidner.

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia says its electrification plans remain, but greater clarity in gov’t EV direction needed

Once established, this will allow the company to adjust its plans accordingly and ascertain how it can proceed. “We have to see what the plans are from the government. All this has to be seen under the umbrella of the NAP, what the direction of the government is, how it wants to bring forward this technology within the market,” he said during a online presentation to the media yesterday.

Weidner said that a framework to establish policies and regulations was paramount. “We have had discussions before, but we have to see whether our requirements are met, We will continue to work closely with the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) and the Automotive Business Development Committee (ABDC) under the ministry of international trade (MITI) to see if we can bring EVs into the market,” he said.

He added that development of the charging network is also something the government – and associated organisations – will have to focus on. He said that the charging infrastructure is something that needs to be built up by the government or other companies in order to provide the necessary environment for electrification to flourish.

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia says its electrification plans remain, but greater clarity in gov’t EV direction needed

Citing Singapore as an example, he said that everything was very much driven by a government, and as such, regulators have a big role to play in how electrification shapes up here. Weidner said he hopes that the government will detail the revised NAP so carmakers can effectively map out their plans.

Separately, the company announced earlier this month that it would be expanding its CKD footprint this year with the localisation of additional models, specifically in the compact car and SUV segment. While no details were offered as to which models were set to go the local-assembly route, it is likely that the vehicles in question are the A-Class and GLA, with the GLE Coupe also a possibility.

Back in 2018, the company had suggested that it was exploring the possibility of localising assembly of its MFA compact cars in order to expand its footprint in the country, and the A-Class has always been swirling about amidst all that talk.

The addition of the MFA vehicles will essentially complete MBM’s CKD locally assembled range, which currently spans 13 variants from five model lines, namely the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class sedans and GLC and GLC Coupe SUVs, as well as two Mercedes-AMG models, the C 43 facelift and the GLC 43 Coupe facelift.

Weidner reiterated that as it moves forward, MBM will be delving into its AMG and Maybach sub-brands as well as the G-Class with greater intent, in line with the automaker’s overall strategy.

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Anthony Lim

Anthony Lim believes that nothing is better than a good smoke and a car with character, with good handling aspects being top of the prize heap. Having spent more than a decade and a half with an English tabloid daily never being able to grasp the meaning of brevity or being succinct, he wags his tail furiously at the idea of waffling - in greater detail - about cars and all their intrinsic peculiarities here.

 

Comments

  • seancorr (Member) on Feb 18, 2021 at 10:19 am

    Only in Malaysia we are still blur as to where the country is heading. Government change like underwear and policies always U turn.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4
    • Rosman on Feb 18, 2021 at 3:20 pm

      Even if the cold hard truths …. please do NOT state the obvious. Syukurla maruah , bruh leklasapkokluu.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12
      • Celup King on Feb 18, 2021 at 4:55 pm

        In our fast fast world, an ICE car just needs 5 minutes to refuel and can travel another 400-500 km. An EV would need 1 hour to recharge for the same range and even EVs with those ranges are heavy, inefficient and expensive to buy and replace batteries. I agree with the Audi CEO, how EVs tech are today just aren’t the future of automobile.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    • Angry Voters on Feb 18, 2021 at 3:40 pm

      This is the follies of May 2018. Now we have instability thanks to that. Really regret it but we cannot turn back time.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 14
      • Notverysmart on Feb 19, 2021 at 12:00 pm

        Ya before that we were super stable with birkin handbag and billion dollar yachts.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    • Contradiction on Feb 18, 2021 at 4:01 pm

      Oh really? Then who was it that said this:
      seancorr (Member) on Feb 18, 2021 at 12:10 pm
      Yep ready but sadly not for me. No place to charge at my home up in the sky.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
    • Celup King on Feb 18, 2021 at 4:09 pm

      Right now don’t think so. Needless to say the problem of the public charging station, private charging space is also a bigger problem. Having a gun is useless but you don’t have the bullet

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • Rakyat Malaysia on Feb 18, 2021 at 10:34 am

    All the best Mercedes-Benz Malaysia in your grand quest to get Malaysia gov’t direction… even we rakyat malaysia got kenching kaw2. Rakyat marhaen langgar Sop got saman kaw2, VVIP OK rilek je. 70 Mentri xkeje membantu rakyat hidup perit dan merana musim PKP ni, keluarga bini anak2 smua sama2 susahh.

    Neways gudluck MBM! To EV and beyond! Bravo govt terbest!!! #kitajagakita

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1
  • sambal on Feb 18, 2021 at 10:50 am

    Stop protecting the local cars and help with electrification please

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • Brian on Feb 18, 2021 at 11:14 am

    Basically marketing speak for: Asking more subsidies and tax breaks and other goodies to entice buyers for EV cars, but for what, to subsidise the rich? Shouldn’t MBM be giving these discounts cus EV cars naturally have bad RV.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
  • Johnny on Feb 18, 2021 at 11:22 am

    Mercedes-Benz is one of the greatest and established car maker. I hope government will drive our country to be in the forefront in automotive industry in the region.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
  • erwink on Feb 18, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    there’s a video about electric cars in US vs EU. so the cars is basically close to being mainstream. the problem is about getting enough charging infra around to be as good as petrol station.

    so there will be businesses that will build them if it will make money. to make money, there must be customers. so right now we don’t sell BEV cars because there’s no infra, and there’s no infra because there’s there’s no BEV.

    so here’s where the government should step in. build the initial infra, at least cover populated area and highways. tax exemption for BEV until 5 years because it will incentive auto manufacturer to make production line here. get battery and motor tech to build here.

    but looking at the current gov, i don’t really have high hopes when they are more focused on filling their pockets and being in power instead of building this country.

    and here’s the video about BEV and charging infra problem.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLcqJ2DclEg

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • Kariayam on Feb 18, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    Forget Electrification of cars, high speed internet or fiber internet also cannot implement across malaysia. Basic thing like this cannot even pull off dont hope to see EVs becoming the norm for at least another 20 years

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • stick on Feb 18, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    good luck trying to wake up a sleeping gov

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
 

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