Mida evaluating 5 foreign carmakers for ops in Malaysia

THE Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) is evaluating five foreign carmakers, which have shown interest in setting up assembly and manufacturing facilities here.

Mida director-general Datuk Jalilah Baba declined to name the companies, but said the agency has received a lot of interest from carmakers in India, China, Japan and South Korea.

“An area which has been very encouraging (in terms of direct investments) has been electric cars and motorcycles,” she said.

Jalilah was speaking to reporters after touring third-party logistics provider PKT Logistics Sdn Bhd’s warehouse and logistics facilities in Shah Alam, Selangor, yesterday.

She added that the applications were to assemble and manufacture cars below and above 1,800cc.
“Above 1,800cc is no problem, but below 1,800cc is a policy matter,” she said.

With the recent review of the National Automotive Policy, foreign carmakers can now wholly own facilities that produce luxury vehicles with an engine capacity of more than 1,800cc, and costs more than RM150,000 per unit.

Mida is expected to make a decision on the entry of the carmakers, in the next few months.

The local automotive industry has seen a surge of foreign interest this year, with two local firms, Naza’s Nasim Sdn Bhd and DRB-HICOM Bhd managing to secure production rights to luxury car brands such as Peugeot and Potenza.

Of the RM16.6 billion direct investments approved in the first seven months of the year, RM1 billion has been for investments in transport equipment, which is mainly automotive related and include commercial vehicle and electric motorcycles.

A total of RM120 million worth of domestic direct investments in electric motorcycles for example, has been approved by Mida, up to July this year.

“PKT’s One Automotive Hub initiative for example, is complementary to the entry of these carmakers into the country. They have made the right move, basically,” she said.

The PKT group plans to develop an automotive hub on a 40ha reclaimed land next to Penang Port.

The area will consist of factories for module assembly, warehouses for complete knocked down storage, parts distribution centre, complete built unit storage and export area, post delivery inspection area, research and development centre as well as a maritime university.

The automotive hub is expected to cost about RM500 million and be completed in five years. – Btimes