Knaus Tabbert gets VTA certification for its caravans – ECERDC aiming to develop RV industry in Malaysia

Knaus Tabbert gets VTA certification for its caravans – ECERDC aiming to develop RV industry in Malaysia

The first steps by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) to develop the recreational vehicle (RV) industry in Malaysia has begun with the awarding of the first vehicle type approval (VTA) to German RV maker Knaus Tabbert for two of its caravans.

The VTA approval for road-worthiness will allow for an authorised sales and distribution channel of new caravans to be made under its own category under the road transport department (JPJ) classification for such vehicles.

Aside from easing the financing and insurance aspects for caravans, the certification will also pave the way for what ECERDC hopes will eventually be local assembly of these vehicle types and the establishment of the country as the RV hub in the region, with exports very much in mind.

The VTA certificate was handed over by JPJ director-general Datuk Zailani Hashim to Knaus Tabbert CEO Wolfgang Speck in a ceremony held at Menara MITI yesterday. Among those present at the event were ministry of international trade and industry deputy secretary-general Datuk Seri Norazman Ayob and ECERDC CEO Datuk Baidzawi Che Mat.

“The type approval for RV to Knaus Tabbert marks a new milestone for ECERDC as it will attract more investments into this sector and spur the RV industry in Malaysia. This will eventually bring in the supply chain for the production of RV parts in the future and create employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for locals, especially in the ECER region,” Baidzawi said.

The two caravans that have obtained the type approval are the Knaus Sport 500 and the Sudwind 450, but word is that the model line-up will eventually be expanded to five. On display at the VTA handover presentation was a Sport 500, presented in a QDK internal layout configuration.

Although no specific timeframe for this was presented, the first Knaus caravans to make their way here will be CBU units, but the aim is to work towards semi-knocked down (SKD) assembly and, if there is enough market demand, CKD operations.

Baidzawi said that there are currently discussions to establish an assembly facility, which will be located somewhere in Pahang, but added that it would likely take at least two years before operations begin. In the meantime, potential sites for designated RV camping parks in the ECER are being identified, with the council having signed a memorandum of collaboration with Knaus Campingparks to explore their development.

As for how the caravans will be marketed, he said that all aspects are being looked at, including that of leasing and rentals, and these will be fleshed out in the future.

While the RV industry is very much nascent in this country, with only 742 units currently registered in Malaysia in the JPJ database, the ECERDC says with the latest development, it is hoping to attract Malaysians to the lifestyle and make their own caravan stories on top of providing tourists and RV enthusiasts well-versed in the workings of the segment the avenue to do so easily here.

GALLERY: Knaus Sport 500 QDK recreational vehicle

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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.



  • ilovethis on Nov 30, 2022 at 10:06 am

    I applaud this pioneering step. However, we still have a long way to go before car camping, or RV camping can be a practical reality for Malaysia. The main hurdle is, unsuprisingly, security. Even homes are being broken into like no tomorrow, how safe do you feel camping in a forest inside a car, protected only on all sides by a thin layer of fibre boards? Until Malaysia can have 1st world police force and less crime would RV really take off.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0
    • cheongsam on Nov 30, 2022 at 11:58 am

      AGREE! as a woman, I dont even dare park and wait inside my car too long. My housing area has regular broken car windows and extortion by motorbikes. So staying in an RV is totally out of the question.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0
  • lowpro on Nov 30, 2022 at 10:19 am

    A few things are needed first:

    1) Dedicated RV parks in scenic areas around the country – Without these, the market won’t grow
    2) Proper sanitary facilities at those parks – Clean bathrooms
    3) Garbage disposal
    4) Security at the RV parks
    5) Police don’t kacau those parked there…there are beds in those caravans…

    A fee can be charged at those parks but shouldn’t be higher than hotel rate per night. Otherwise, it won’t make sense to bring an RV.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0
  • sapaberani on Nov 30, 2022 at 5:06 pm

    If it is as safe as say, Singapore, then RV makes complete sense. But here, crime is so high. robberies, mugging, theft and also vandalism happen everyday. who dare to sleep in RV in remote places? If can only use RV is highly guarded locations then that is pointless. Better just stay in hotels.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • Sim Y C on Dec 01, 2022 at 5:33 am

    Good market for family. Like to know the cost and smaller model.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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