By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
The government is expected to shortlist the companies to pursue the new national car project by year-end, after completing the first round of evaluation and discussion with the related car companies.
Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) deputy secretary general Datin K Talagavathi said MITI, the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology had completed the initial meetings with the automakers who submitted their proposals for the project.
“We have done the first round of evaluation and short-listed several proposals.
“We will have the second round of evaluation and we expect to reduce the number of proposals by the end of December,” she said at the eCommerce Day 2018 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Talagavathi said the government is not looking for any additional proposals to build the third national car.
“We have stopped accepting proposals as we have closed the application. The ministries and agency involved will keep it to the 21 submissions.”
Previously, Deputy Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming revealed 21 proposals were submitted to MITI. These include proposals from international carmakers.
The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) had reported that major car brands have participated in the request for proposal to spearhead the project mooted by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
TMR recently reported that the government had conducted private meetings with every interested firm during the first two weeks of November. Officials from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority, the Malaysia Automotive Institute and MITI were present during these meetings.
The report said the interested players were required to divulge the strategies and plans for the car development, including the sales and branding plan, localisation issues, the use of technology, project duration and estimated cost.
Dr Mahathir reignited the idea of building the third national car project after Pakatan Harapan won the 14th General Election in May.
Reports suggested that the car project would be launched by 2020.
Quoting a source, TMR reported that the deadline given will be a tall order as carmakers require time to produce a new model of vehicle that is complied to the international standards and regulations.