Dr Mahathir to launch NAP 2020 next week

by RAHIMI YUNUS/ pic by BERNAMA

THE much delayed National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2020 will be announced by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Feb 21, 2020.

The International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) said the new automotive blueprint is formulated to elevate Malaysia’s automotive industry to the next phase of industrial competitiveness, in line with the changing landscape of mobility in the global markets.

The national automotive ecosystem includes vehicle manufacturers, parts and components suppliers, engineering services, fullfledged product and process design facilities, aftermarket segment and high-skilled talent pool across the value chain.

“To ensure a continuation of such meaningful participation within the industry, the government has put emphasis on resources to ensure the next technology acceleration curve will be in line with emerging trends surrounding transportation and mobility, as well as, allowing for clean energy technology adoption,” MITI said in a statement yesterday.

The ministry added that the government is focused on building strategic ties with industry players towards enhancing local talents’ capacity and development.

Bernama previously reported the new national automotive framework will be implemented in three phases until 2030, according to the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute CEO Datuk Madani Sahari.

The NAP 2020 has been largely said to facilitate the development of a next-generation vehicle (NxGV) ecosystem within Malaysia and become a regional hub for NxGV production.

According to a consultative paper sighted by The Malaysian Reserve previously, NxGV is defined as a vehicle with an energy-efficient vehicle (EEV) status and has achieved at least Level 3 automation — conditional automation.

Level 3 automation is when the car monitors the driving environment around it and becomes a co-pilot.

Simply put, the autonomous car does the driving on the condition the human driver will respond appropriately to a request to intervene.

Some quarters in the industry are pessimistic about the practicality of such advanced vehicles in the local marketplace.

Regardless, the ambitious framework is viewed as necessary to move the local auto industry forward in line with the global carmakers’ vision to push for electric cars.

Industry observers have also speculated that provisions on air mobility, or “flying car”, could be included in the NAP 2020.

Another key component expected in the new policy is provision on mobility-as-a-service (MaaS).

This is a concept of integrating various types of transport services to centralised mobility services. The rise of MaaS will revolutionise how people move from point

A to point B where services are connected to transportation and strong 5G network is a must in connected mobility.

The NAP 2020 is also expected to provide a clear definition of a “national car”.

Bernama reported that the definition will encompass six criteria, namely majority equity holders are Malaysians; it uses public funding; 75% of the supply chain is local; 98% local workers; research and development is done in Malaysia and shall follow NxGV as a service; and adopt the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The criteria are said to be applicable to current national car producers and a new national car which is under development.

The NAP was first introduced in 2006 to facilitate the required transformation and integration of the local automotive industry with regional and global networks within the increasingly competitive environment.

The policy was reviewed in 2009 before another revision was made in 2014, which emphasised on green initiatives and market expansion, with an ultimate objective to make Malaysia the regional EEV hub by 2020.