PETALING JAYA: Three China-based automotive companies are close to making Malaysia their energy efficient vehicle (EEV) base of operations for the region, a source familiar with the matter said.
“Three potential Chinese automotive companies have been identified to manufacture right-hand-drive EEV vehicles for the region and representatives from the Government will be holding talks with them later this month,” he told StarBiz.
The source added that the meeting was necessary to “validate” the capabilities of the Chinese auto firms. “We need to know if they are serious and have the capabilities of making Malaysia a hub for their EEV operations.”
According to reports, the Government, in line with intentions of liberalizing the local automotive sector, is seriously looking to turn the country into an EEV hub for the region.
It has also been widely speculated that various incentives will be announced under the revised National Automotive Policy to attract foreign automotive companies with EEV capabilities.
EEVs are vehicles that meet a set of defined specification in terms of emission level and energy usage including fuel-efficient vehicles, hybrid, electric vehicles and alternatively fuelled vehicles such those using compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen and fuel cell.
In June, it was reported that Chery Malaysia, which is part of China’s Chery Automobile Co, would be investing RM250mil in the country over the next five years. The plan would include the setting up of a production plant in Malaysia that would serve as a hub to make right-hand-drive cars for the region.
The source added that many Chinese automotive companies had the know-how and expertise to develop hybrid vehicles. “They are especially capable of manufacturing hybrid batteries at competitive prices. There is a good possibility that the Government may consider making the country into a hub for hybrid batteries.”
Source: The Star