BMW anticipates uncertain market despite tax incentives

by RAHIMI YUNUS/ pic by ARIF KARTONO

BMW Group Malaysia believes the local automotive market will remain uncertain for the coming months despite it being boosted by the sales tax exemptions.

MD Harald Hoelzl (picture; left) said it is still difficult to gauge the market outlook as the Covid-19 pandemic is still affecting the overall economy.

“We are happy with the tax incentives as the whole industry has heavily benefitted from it. But we do not know how long this will continue,” Hoelzl said at the launch of the new BMW M automobiles in Petaling Jaya last Friday.

He added that sales volumes in July and August have been quite good amid the virus outbreak.

The automotive industry has been grounded to a halt during the first three months of Movement Control Order which started in mid-March.

The government has granted 100% sales tax waiver for locally assembled vehicles and 50% for imported units from June until December to spur vehicle sales.

At the event, BMW launched four new high-performance M cars for the local market — the first-ever M8 Coupé and M8 Gran Coupé, and the X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition under the X family.

The M8 Coupé and M8 Gran Coupé are priced at RM1.45 million while the X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition are priced at RM886,551.58 and RM904,276.60 respectively.

The two newest high performance M8 automobiles are powered by the most powerful engine ever developed by BMW M for a production model — the 4.4-litre V8 engine with BMW M TwinPower Turbo technology.

The 4.4-litre engine, also known as the S63, delivers 441 kW/600 hp and is rated to achieve the century sprint in 3.3 seconds on to a top speed of 250kph (limited).

It revs to a peak torque of 750Nm at between 1,800rpm and 5,600rpm.

“The high-performance sporting segment of the world rests on the benchmark that has been set by BMW M automobiles, and with these two new additions, we witness that benchmark raised higher as they carry the M legacy to greater heights,” Hoelzl said.

The two-door M8 Coupé consumes 10.4 litre of fuel for every 100km, and has a combined carbon dioxide (CO2) output of 239g/km.

Meanwhile, the four-door M8 Gran Coupé consumes 10.7 litre per 100km (combined) and emits a combined of 243g of CO2/km.

The two models arrived with the newly introduced BMW 8 Series design language which features muscular sculpted surfaces and distinctive characteristics in the frontal appearance.

These include the new M-specific front apron, along with the BMW kidney grille featuring M-specific decorative mesh, double slats and M8 designation.

Other highlights of the high-powered M8 Coupé and M8 Gran Coupé include the soft-close function for doors and carbon roof made of self-coloured carbon-fibre reinforced plastic that saves weight and lowers the vehicles’ centre of gravity.

For the newest high-performance X line-up, the X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition are equipped with the newly developed three-litre M TwinPower Turbo straight-six petrol engine that is capable of 510 hp.

The X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition, being a sports activity vehicle and sports activity coupé respectively, have a peak torque of 600Nm at between 2,600rpm and 5,950rpm and generate a top speed of 250kph (limited).

They are capable of achieving the century sprint in 4.1 seconds.

The two new mid-size models consume 10.6 litres of fuel per 100km and record 244g of CO2/km.