According to a recent report, Malaysia is making a big push into developing “disruptive technology-driven” vehicles for global markets, with its maiden model should be ready for sale in two years.
The model is under the new national car project (NNCP) mooted by the country’s Prime Minister.
Its prototype is expected to be rolled out early next year, followed by the real car itself for consumers by 2020, said the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) president and chief executive officer.
The government was identifying investors and co-developers for the NNCP, and this was expected to be finalised by year-end, he added.
This new car will use 100 per cent disruptive technology and not follow conventional car manufacturing (methods), members of the media were told recently.
A disruptive technology is one that displaces an established technology and shakes up the industry or a ground-breaking product that creates a completely new industry.
This new platform needs to be developed by a country like Malaysia, which has all the ingredients that can master this technology. The country’s leaders state that it has the raw materials and experience and there is no reason why it shouldn’t build this new car.
Leaders state that it was important for the country to develop and nurture vendors and inspire young people with disruptive technologies, after decades of involvement in the automotive sector.
Malaysia is one of the top nine high-tech manufacturing exporters in the world in terms of capacity and capability and has companies that can contribute technology and components of the car.
According to the report, the government had shortlisted a few partners, while looking at the best platform to use and combined with Malaysian technology (components suppliers and technology makers).
They are refining the prototype and will later explore what kind of series (car category) will be made since developers must be sizeable about it and measure what the country can contribute in terms of local content.
This move is expected to revitalise the national automotive industry and support the parts and components sector that could drive small and medium enterprises.
The content from Malaysian resources will be maximised to the fullest. The aim is to rebuild the capability with existing skills and technology to make the industry competitive; the country is poised to begin building the cars now.
It was noted that it would not be an issue for the country to have a new national car, citing that the administration was looking at private initiative or private participation.
The current technology in the market is relatively inexpensive and will enable the development of a prototype. There are over 20 carmakers in this country, which also has the skills and capabilities to help carmakers to produce cars.
With a complete ecosystem, the government can empower the NNCP with the participation of the private sector, supported by various ministries and government agencies.
The nation’s leaders are looking at technology including energy efficient vehicle or fully electric vehicle and are trying to refine their approach as to what stage the car should be offered.
It is important to note that electronic components, as well as the total car development, will have to be built at the same time as the outer shell of the car.
MIGHT had been involved in automotive development since 1994 to support Malaysia’s Formula One involvement, infusing the technology from the most advanced structure to the conventional car manufacturing.
The NNCP would be developed based on the local market demand. Hence, manufacturers and those involved in the project need to know what kind of cars Malaysians want to drive. They are not starting from zero and will have a complete ecosystem and pull all relevant parties to work as a team for this project.
The capital to develop the NNCP would be dependent on what platform it uses, technology, and feedback from the market, particularly the younger generation. The existing infrastructure will be used to assemble the first batch of cars.