YB DATO' MUKHRIZ MAHATHIR
DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INDUSTRY
NEW STRAITS TIMES/MAYBANK
'CAR OF THE YEAR' AWARDS NIGHT
26 NOVEMBER 2010 (FRIDAY)
THE SAUJANA, SUBANG
Assalamualaikum W.B.T, Good Evening and Salam 1Malaysia.
Yang Berbahagia Datuk Syed Nadzri Syed Harun,
New Straits Times Sdn Bhd;
Yang Berbahagia Datuk Aishah Ahmad,
Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA);
Mr Lim Hong Tat,
Deputy President and Head Community Financial Services,
Encik Yamin Vong,
Editor for Cars, Bikes & Trucks and
Chairman for the Panel of Judges,
NST/Maybank Car of the Year Awards 2010;
Directors and Senior Management of NSTP and Maybank,
Members of the media
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. First of all, allow me to extend my sincere appreciation to the organisers for extending an invitation for me to officiate the ‘Car of the Year Awards’ (COTY) Night.
2. I was informed that this is the ninth year that the NST Group has organised the COTY award, which started with the objective of honouring the best new cars launched each year.
3. I also understand that this year, COTY organisers also organised a motoring carnival, the ‘Car of the Year 2U’ motoring carnival. I heard that more than 20,000 people attended the weekend carnival and that many of the participating car companies booked sales at special financial packages offered by Maybank.
4. I applaud this initiative and I believe you've done a good job of educating the buyers and promoting car sales at the same time.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
5. As you well know, the global automotive industry went through a rough patch in 2009 largely due to the worldwide economic downturn of recent years.
6. Having said that, the Malaysian automotive industry has started to register strong growth in tandem with a robust economic recovery in 2010. Sales of motor vehicles for the period of between January-October 2010 increased by 13.9% to 505,546 units from 444,037 units in the corresponding period last year. In the whole of 2009, total motor vehicle sales were 536,905 units – a decrease by 2% from 2008.
7. This improved market sentiment and consumer demand has had a positive impact on the production of motor vehicles in the first ten months of 2010 which shows an increase of 21.1% to 489,929 units as compared with the same period of 2009. The total production of motor vehicles in 2009 dropped 7.8% to 489,269 units from 2008.
8. The strong growth in sales is an omen that the country’s automotive industry is making an upturn as it steadily recovers from the said economic crisis.
9. Given this strong sales performance, I am made to understand that the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), analysts as well as industry players are confident that 2010 could prove a record-breaking year for the Malaysian automotive industry. The total industry volume is expected to reach 570,000 sold/manufactured car units, surpassing the earlier forecast of 550,000 sold/manufactured car units – also by far exceeding Malaysia’s peak of 552,316 units in 2005.
10. Furthermore, the opening up of Manufacturing License (ML) for manufacturing and assembling activities in the selected segments such as luxury cars and hybrid/electric vehicles under the review of National Automotive Policy (NAP) is expected to encourage new investments and the expansion of existing investments in the country.
11. In addition the impending full liberalisation of the ASEAN automotive market beginning 1st January 2010 gives Malaysia a forced boost figuratively speaking to move towards a regional automotive hub that specialises in niche areas.
12. On the 28th of October 2009, the Government had announced a review of the National Automotive Policy. This review was done with the hope of enhancing the long-term viability and competitiveness of the domestic automotive industry. The object of the review was also done with a view of protecting the natural environment and increasing public safety.
13. Therefore, in this context the gradual phasing out of imported used automotive products and the introduction of mandatory standards for parts and components, and standards of fuel quality will hopefully achieve our objectives as I have stated earlier.
14. This review has gone so far as to lift the freeze on the issuance of Manufacturing License (ML) for several industry segments which are of strategic importance and is of significant impact on Malaysia’s economy, namely:
· luxury passenger vehicles with engine capacity of 1,800c.c and above and on the road prices not less than RM150,000;
· pick-up trucks and commercial vehicles;
· hybrid and electric vehicles; and
· motorcycles with engine capacity of 200c.c and above.
15. Also, this review aims to promote the manufacturing of critical and high value-added parts and components.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
16. In this short speech, I hope to have shared with you a sense of optimism for the local automotive industry in the near future. The fact is that this is a highly competitive industry and nations the world over have their own set of challenges and difficulties. It is a question of our commitment to success, our ingenuity and willingness to change with the times.
17. With that I’d like to wish the winner of tonight’s event – heartiest congratulations and once again thank the organisers for their kind invitation.