Chinese EV makers help transform Malaysian automotive industry
A customer tries an Ora Good Cat electric vehicle at a showroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Feb. 17, 2023. (Photo by Chong Voon Chung/Xinhua)
The growing participation of Chinese brands such as Great Wall Motor (GWM) will boost and transform the development of the EV ecosystem in Malaysia, which is still the "blue ocean" market in Southeast Asian countries and has great potential for upgrading.
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Mr. Lim, who lives near the city of Kuala Lumpur, was quite satisfied with his recently bought Ora Good Cat electric vehicle (EV).
Ora Good Cat is an electric vehicle model under Great Wall Motor (GWM), China's leading sport utility vehicle and pickup manufacturer. Mr. Lim first saw the model when he was on business in Thailand, took a picture of the car and sent it to his wife.
Later they saw it in a car exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, and ordered it on the spot after checking out and test driving. During the Christmas holidays last year, the car was delivered to them. "My wife likes this car very much. It's powerful and quiet, can accelerate fast," he said.
A customer takes a test drive of an Ora Good Cat electric vehicle in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Feb. 17, 2023. (Photo by Chong Voon Chung/Xinhua)
GWM set up its Malaysian subsidiary in July 2022. According to Cui Anqi, managing director of Great Wall Motor Sales Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian market is very important among ASEAN countries. There are many automobile consumptions in Malaysia, but in terms of new energy vehicles, the market is still a "blue ocean" and has great potential for upgrading.
Data from Malaysian Automotive Association showed that 2,631 EVs were sold in Malaysia in 2022, which represents an 860-percent increase from 274 in 2021.
The skyrocketing increase is closely related with incentive packages adopted by Malaysian government.
"The government is truly walking its policy talk for the EV industry through various measures. This includes offering full import, excise, and sales tax exemptions for locally assembled EVs until Dec. 31, 2025, and full import and excise duty exemptions for imported EVs until Dec. 31, 2023," International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said recently at the launching of Malaysia's Electric Vehicle Industry Conference 2023.
These incentives may be adjusted in the future, however, industry insiders believe that EV is the inevitable trend.
An Ora Good Cat electric vehicle is displayed at a showroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Feb. 17, 2023. (Photo by Chong Voon Chung/Xinhua)
The minister also pointed out that Malaysia aims to achieve at least 15 percent of electrified vehicles including hybrid out of the total industry volume by 2030 and 38 percent by 2040 under the National Energy Policy (2022-2040).
By 2025, the government aims to provide 10,000 public charging facilities, comprising 9,000 units of alternating current type and 1,000 units of direct current type.
Chinese automaker BYD officially launched its electric car model of Atto 3 in Malaysia in December 2022. Tengku Zafrul said at the launching ceremony that participation of the Chinese brand will benefit the development of the EV ecosystem in Malaysia.
"The trend of car consumption upgrading in Malaysia is becoming more and more obvious. We are confident that Malaysia's new energy automobile industry will achieve rapid and high-quality development in the near future," Cui Anqi said.