CYBERJAYA: The NEXTStep Subsidy Programme was introduced in May 2022, as part of the ongoing BMW Safety 360° initiative, which aims to promote road safety for children by making child car seats more accessible to lower income households.
A total of 90 child car seats were fully subsidised for families in the B40 community with funds raised by BMW Group Financial Services Malaysia last year.
The fully subsidised child car seat under the NEXTStep Subsidy Programme is open to expecting parents and families with children weighing up to 36kg, and with a monthly household income below RM3,500.
Over 900 registrations were received throughout the application period, affirming the need for greater accessibility to child car seats among lower income families.
The NEXTStep Subsidy Programme concluded with a special handover event organised in collaboration with Safe ‘n Sound to present the fully subsidised child car seats to selected parents in the Klang Valley.
A total of 12 child car seats were presented during the event, with the remainder delivered to parents that resided within and outside of the Klang Valley.
The child car seat models were the snskidz Ace (infant carrier) snskidz sport (convertible seat), snskidz Whizz (ISOFIX seat), snskidz Proto (combination booster seat) and Mifold (booster seat), which would normally retail at RM199, RM279, RM499, RM399, and RM199 respectively.
BMW Group Malaysia initiated the first subsidy programme as part of the BMW Safety 360° initiative in 2019 to an overwhelming response of over 25,000 applicants.
To date, more than 400 families have received subsidised child car seats, including recipients of the NEXTStep Subsidy Programme.
BMW Group Malaysia managing director Hans de Visser said, “The overwhelming response we have received for this subsidy programme highlights the crucial need for us to make child car seats more accessible to the public, especially to lower income families.
“We hope to continue advocating for the uptake of child car seats amongst families in Malaysia, while also raising awareness and encouraging more parents to act independently in ensuring the highest level of safety for their children while on the road,” he said.
BMW Group Financial Services Malaysia CEO Matthias Schlesiger added, “We are pleased to have been able to support the NEXTStep Subsidy Programme with the funds we raised last year through one of our fundraising initiatives.
“For every signed contract of a BMW or MINI electrified vehicle (EV), RM100 was contributed to the fundraiser and ultimately channelled to a cause that we hold close to our hearts,” he said.
SNS Products Sdn Bhd managing director May Hwong said, “It is required for every occupant in the vehicle to use a seat belt, but we must remember that it is important that children below 12 years old use a suitable car seat as they may not be tall enough for a seat belt.
“Their safety should be every parents' highest priority and we hope this subsidy programme can make it easier for them to ensure that,” she said.