Malaysian Automotive Association: Government slow in approving car prices

By THOMAS HUONG | 4 December 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Government bodies have been slow in approving car prices of new models, resulting in delayed launches of cars like the Honda HR-V RS, according to a report by Berita Harian.

Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) president Datuk Aishah Ahmad told Berita Harian that this was due to the change in government and the introduction of new regulations.

"In the past, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) alone can provide approval. However, now there are many processes involving entities such as Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Royal Malaysian Customs and Road Transport Department (JPJ)," said Aishah on the sidelines of the recently concluded Kuala Lumpur International Motorshow (KLIMS'18).

At the motor show, some of the new cars and motorcycles only had estimated prices.

However, Aishah pointed out that car prices were still determined by automakers.

"If they want to sell at high prices, that's all right but it is market conditions that determine the right pricing. That is why consumers will continue to see competition from automakers to produce vehicles that meet their needs," said Aishah.

The Berita Harian report also quoted an industry source as saying the Malaysian automotive sector still had elements of protectionism that benefit certain auto players.

"We need to allow more competition for car buyers to get better prices," said the source, who also noted that the delay in new car price announcements could also be due to competition.

"Auto brands prefer to announce the prices of their products after the competition has revealed their prices. Then they can compete better, based on car features and prices."

The industry source also pointed out that presently, there was a lot of uncertainty and vagueness regarding the tax mechanisms and special incentives for EEV (energy efficient vehicles), fully imported cars (CBU) and
locally assembled cars (CKD).