MAA: Curbs on foreign cars a regressive move


The government’s plan to limit the access of foreign cars to the local market is a regressive move for the growth of the country’s automotive industry, Malaysian Automotive Association said.

Its president Datuk Aishah Ahmad (picture) said there should be a level playing field for local and foreign carmakers, as many of these foreign cars carry a lot of local components and provide business and employment opportunities to the locals.

“It is a very regressive move. I don’t think it’s right for the government to say that they want to stop all cars other than Proton to be brought into the country,” she told reporters after a meeting with the Council of Eminent Persons yesterday.

She said for the local automotive industry to move forward, the government must create a conducive environment through liberalisation like in Thailand and Indonesia.

“Thailand is exporting more than 1.3 million cars a year and Indonesia more than 100,000 vehicles. How many is Malaysia exporting? 20,000 to 30,000 units a year,” she noted.

Aishah said the National Automotive Policy, last updated in 2014, is due for another review to ensure more vehicles are exported from Malaysia.

She also urged the government to review its plan for another national car, saying it would disrupt the local industry which only had a small market with a total industry volume of about 600,000 a year.

“What we don’t want is further incentives being provided for the new national car, which will really disrupt the industry. It does not help the industry at all,” she explained.

On electric cars, Aishah said further investments and incentives are needed to grow the segment, which only saw 13 cars sold last year.

“It takes time. The infrastructure and incentives must be there for us to see further growth,” she added. — Bernama