PM envisions AHTV to be Asean’s EV hub


MALAYSIA could be a hub for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers and component suppliers to the Asean market with the launch of Automotive Hi-Tech Valley (AHTV).

Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the efforts to develop AHTV as a new hub for EV production are in line with the government’s commitment to achieving the environmental, social and governance goals in addition to making Malaysia a carbon-neutral country by 2050.

“If other countries like the US can be proud of Detroit — famous for its automobile manufacturing industry — it’s not likely that one day, Tanjung Malim will be known as the region’s great motor hub,” Ismail Sabri said during the launch of AHTV in Tanjung Malim, Perak, yesterday.

Saying that the area will be able to attract foreign investors such as from China and other countries, Tanjung Malim would also benefit from the spillover economic effects from the project.

AHTV is expected to generate 370,000 jobs during construction and 160,000 jobs when it is operational.

“Other developments that have an economic chain reaction such as industrial parks and property development for commercial purposes as a whole have the potential to generate RM32 billion by 2030,” the PM said.

DRB-Hicom Bhd plans to intensify new technologies and systems in the global automotive industries in the newly launched AHTV.

AHTV is expected to be a high impact major project to boost the national automotive industry and is envisioned to be an automotive industry hub for the Asean region.

To make AHTV a success, DRB-Hicom has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd (Geely) to jointly develop AHTV and collaborate to identify vendors and investors for the hub.

“The total investment in Tanjung Malim by Proton since Geely became a partner in 2018 was RM2.3 billion (within four years) compared to RM1.8 billion since it started operating in 2001 until 2017.

“As such, we are confident that AHTV will be able to draw on expertise and markets from China to successfully achieve AHTV’s objectives,” DRB-Hicom chairman Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said at the launch yesterday.

Meanwhile, DRB-Hicom also signed an MoU with the Perak state government to jointly identify suitable additional land in the area to be earmarked for AHTV.

Wan Zulkiflee also expects AHTV to achieve RM32 billion worth of investment which will create more than 370,000 job opportunities and raise the country’s GDP by RM24.5 billion.

“Once Phase 1 completes, the hub will offer more than 160,000 job opportunities to the area, contributing to the economy of Perak and the country,” he said.

Moreover, he said AHTV will also set up a research university that will create an educational framework to nurture a new generation of engineers for the automotive industry.

Among the areas include engineering, IT, design, artificial intelligence, mobility solutions and software development.

“This will strengthen local research and development capabilities and ensure the competitiveness of local original equipment manufacturers.

“The establishment of an automotive-based research university augurs well for Malaysia, as the industry surges ahead with next-generation vehicles and mobility-as-a-service,” he added.