For the Malaysian automotive industry, today is D-Day. The day where structure, plans and strategy can finally be set in stone. After much uncertainty which has affected the sector, today the NAP (National Automotive Policy) will be unveiled, and my oh my have we waited for this day!
We are still unclear as of now on the direction this NAP will take as this is the new government's first automotive policy, and it appears that MITI, MOF and MARII have all had a hard time figuring out a policy that will pave the way for our automotive industry for the foreseeable future.
However, this hasn't stopped the media from speculating on what the NAP will bring and one word that keeps being thrown about is NxGV. The NST reports that "The government would focus on developing the nation to become the manufacturing hub for NxGV", whilst themalaysianreserve.com writes that "Industry players are looking at NxGV", but what exactly is NxGV?
NxGV is an abbreviation for Next-Generation Vehicles. According to the Next-Generation Vehicle Guidebook which was published jointly by the Japanese Ministries of Environment, Economy, Trade and Industry, Land, Infrastructure and Transport, NxGV are vehicles which are environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient with low or no emissions. These include electric vehicles (EV), hybrid vehicles (HV), plug-in-hybrid vehicles (PHEV) and fuel cell vehicles (FCV).
What this could mean for us is that in the near future we could see more electrified vehicles on the road, possibly due to a more favourable duty structure. There are some very unique and attractive NxGV vehicles that we do not have access to, but if the NAP helps with the price which in turn makes it economically viable for distributors to bring them in, then yes, everyone wins.
If the NAP also promotes Malaysia as a NxGV hub, then manufacturing of parts can be made locally, making NxGV cars cheaper to maintain. One of the problems with NxGv vehicles at the moment is their initial price and the expensive replacement parts. If these two become more affordable through the NAP then perhaps we can finally be in trend with the rest of the automotive world.
Who knows, we might even officially be able to buy a Tesla in Malaysia, perhaps even the Honda e! We wait to see...