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Miti: AP phase-out deadlines stay

Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) is again reviewing the National Automotive Policy (NAP), it will maintain the established deadlines for the termination of the Approved Permit (AP) system for the import of completely built-up (CBU) vehicles.

Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed yesterday said there will be no changes to the 2009 NAP review which stipulated that the government will stop issuing

  • Open APs from Dec 31, 2015 while the
  • Franchise AP will be terminated by Dec 31, 2020

“We have not been shifting the deadlines. The dates stand,” Mustapa said in an interview with The Edge Financial Daily yesterday.

Open APs are used to import any brand of cars while Franchise APs can only be used to import specific brands of cars.

The 2015 and 2020 termination dates for Open and Franchise APs had been pushed back from the government’s original targeted termination date in 2010.

On the current NAP review that would cover areas other than APs, Mustapa said his ministry had already completed consultations with industry stakeholders and was in the midst of producing a cabinet paper to obtain input from the other ministries.

“We would like this to be done quickly. We know what we want to do,” he said.
The new NAP would provide a boost to the local automotive industry to embrace the technological changes in producing energy efficient vehicles, Mustapa said.

“Technology is evolving very rapidly with energy-efficient cars. It’s important that whatever policy we put in place enhances Malaysia’s ability to bring this type of technology here.

“We see opportunities there. Conventional cars will be phased out eventually,” he added.

Mustapa said the new NAP would also seek to grow the exports of Malaysian-made vehicles and automotive components.

He said the manufacturing of automotive parts and components was a significant growth sub-sector, with Malaysia’s exports of automotive components and parts growing 26.4% year-on-year to RM4.8 billion in 2011 from RM3.8 billion in 2010.

Mustapa also said the government would like to see more growth in both the exports of CBU and completely-knocked-down (CKD) vehicles even though national carmaker Proton Holdings Bhd has already been exporting CKD vehicles.

Explaining the frequency of NAP reviews, Mustapa said the government had to relook the NAP after the previous policy update announced in October 2009 “did not quite achieve its objectives”.

For example, the 2009 review did not boost the export of locally produced vehicles as originally hoped, he said.

According to Mustapa, Proton sold about 350,000 vehicles overseas from 1986 to 2011. This was a fraction of the national carmaker’s domestic sales of over 150,000 units a year.

The government’s earlier review of the NAP introduced 18 new policies and measures covering manufacturing licences, import duties, incentives for high value-added components production and implementation of fuel standards.

Nevertheless, Mustapa said the government had repealed some measures announced in 2009 after obtaining further feedback from the public and stakeholders.

One such reversal, Mustapa said, was the government’s plan to gradually introduce a vehicle end-of-life policy.

Initially, the government said it would first impose a mandatory annual inspection for vehicles aged 15 years and above while formulating a road map to take old vehicles off the road.



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