Malaysia reveals national car strategy – confirms third brand

The third national Malaysian car has yet to be unveiled, but it bears a striking resemblance to Daihatsu’s concept car DN F-Sedan Sources: PaulTan, DSF

Malaysia on February 21 unveiled its long-expected automotive strategy which aims at launching a third national car brand in the country besides Proton, backed by China’s Zhejiang Geely, and Perodua, which is led by Japan’s Daihatsu.

“The government has made a conscious decision under the National Automotive Policy 2020 to implement the new Malaysian vehicle project, building on our efforts in developing two national cars and one national motorcycle,” Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said during the launch.

He said that there will be no public money spent for the project, and private investors are now needed in order to realise the yet unnamed new brand.

“We have the capacity to produce but we need investors. That is why we are asking the private sector to invest and produce the car not only for the local market but outside as well,” he Mahathir said.

Limited economies of a scale for third car producer

However, potential local or foreign investors could be hesitant to inject money in a third car manufacturing venture on a market with just 600,000 annual vehicle sales and uncertain export potential. Thus, the project first needs to overcome the lack of economies of scale and proprietary technologies required to attract investors, analysts said.

Apart from that, the global automotive industry is currently in disruption towards electric mobility, self-driving cars with artificial intelligence and Internet-enabled connectivity. This means, a new car brand should ideally deliver modern technologies that others don’t have or offer them at a more competitive price.

Malaysian digital engineering and consulting company DreamEdge would serve as the anchor company for the new car project, with Daihatsu providing support to design the car. However, the Toyota subsidiary said it will not acquire any stake in the project.

DreamEdge has said if an investor is found, it will likely produce a compact car in the B-segment as a start, aiming to roll out the first vehicle in 2022 with sales target of 3,000 units monthly. A prototype is ready, but has yet to be fully unveiled.

The third national Malaysian car has yet to be unveiled, but it bears a striking resemblance to Daihatsu's concept car DN F-Sedan Sources: PaulTan, DSF Malaysia on February 21 unveiled its long-expected automotive strategy which aims at launching a third national car brand in the country besides Proton, backed by China’s Zhejiang Geely, and Perodua, which is led by Japan's Daihatsu. “The government has made a conscious decision under the National Automotive Policy 2020 to implement the new Malaysian vehicle project, building on our efforts in developing two national cars and one national motorcycle,” Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said during...

The third national Malaysian car has yet to be unveiled, but it bears a striking resemblance to Daihatsu’s concept car DN F-Sedan Sources: PaulTan, DSF

Malaysia on February 21 unveiled its long-expected automotive strategy which aims at launching a third national car brand in the country besides Proton, backed by China’s Zhejiang Geely, and Perodua, which is led by Japan’s Daihatsu.

“The government has made a conscious decision under the National Automotive Policy 2020 to implement the new Malaysian vehicle project, building on our efforts in developing two national cars and one national motorcycle,” Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said during the launch.

He said that there will be no public money spent for the project, and private investors are now needed in order to realise the yet unnamed new brand.

“We have the capacity to produce but we need investors. That is why we are asking the private sector to invest and produce the car not only for the local market but outside as well,” he Mahathir said.

Limited economies of a scale for third car producer

However, potential local or foreign investors could be hesitant to inject money in a third car manufacturing venture on a market with just 600,000 annual vehicle sales and uncertain export potential. Thus, the project first needs to overcome the lack of economies of scale and proprietary technologies required to attract investors, analysts said.

Apart from that, the global automotive industry is currently in disruption towards electric mobility, self-driving cars with artificial intelligence and Internet-enabled connectivity. This means, a new car brand should ideally deliver modern technologies that others don’t have or offer them at a more competitive price.

Malaysian digital engineering and consulting company DreamEdge would serve as the anchor company for the new car project, with Daihatsu providing support to design the car. However, the Toyota subsidiary said it will not acquire any stake in the project.

DreamEdge has said if an investor is found, it will likely produce a compact car in the B-segment as a start, aiming to roll out the first vehicle in 2022 with sales target of 3,000 units monthly. A prototype is ready, but has yet to be fully unveiled.

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