SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY: Japanese carmaker to launch first energy efficient vehicle locally at its Inokom facility next month
MAZDA has jumped on to Malaysia's energy efficient vehicle (EEV) bandwagon and will roll out its first unit at Inokom next month.
The Japanese carmaker has invested RM100 million in a production facility within Inokom Corp and investments are expected to increase with new tooling and other mechanisms for the "green" process.
Its popular CX-5, which was picked as Japan's Car of the Year for 2012-2013, has hit the Malaysian roads but is limited in numbers as it is a CBU (completely built up) unit imported from Japan.
Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) chief executive officer (CEO) Madani Sahari said the CX-5 model will be manufactured at the Kulim plant this year, followed by two other models next year.
"It is not a hybrid like the other EEV in the market but its SkyActiv technology is as powerful with a well-configured exhaust system in place," he said at a media briefing after the launch of Automechanika Kuala Lumpur 2013 yesterday.
Mazda aside, Madani said two other players are expected on the EEV platform and negotiations are ongoing with three automotive players.
Economies of scale will also be improved in this space as more of these manufacturers increase the local content, as seen in the case of Mazda, which has about 50 per cent local content compared with Honda (30 per cent to 60 per cent) and Toyota (30 per cent to 40 per cent).
Automechanika Kuala Lumpur is the new label to the biennial event for the automotive sectors of parts and systems, accessories and tuning, repair and maintenance, and service station and car wash.
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan officiated at the function on behalf of minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
The three-day event, which is being held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, is organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd and endorsed by the Malaysia External Development Corp and supported by MAI and other organisations.
The 5,500 sq m show - one of the 12 held internationally - attracted 190 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions, a 15 per cent increase from the previous show held in 2011.
Besides a showcase for companies to display their latest products or vehicles, a "green" seminar was also held.
Earlier, Madani said manufacturing and aftermarket activities should move towards greening their processes, in line with the government's aspiration to transform the automotive sector into a Green Automotive Industry.
The revised National Automotive Policy (NAP), he explained, is promoting the EEV, which is characterised by low fuel consumption and emission level.
Mustapa, in his speech read by Jacob Dungau, said consumers' buying decisions, which were based largely on four basic criteria - price, style, marque and fuel consumption - in the past, have looked on "sustainability" as the fifth factor.
Consumers now have the option of going for an internal combustion engine vehicle, an electric vehicle or a hybrid vehicle.
Industry experts forecast that about two million electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles will be on the road worldwide by 2020. In the Asia Pacific region alone, it is estimated that the sale of electric vehicle will exceed 1.4 million units over the next five years.
"In Malaysia, we are witnessing encouraging trends in this direction too."
"Proton is planning to roll its EV models in the next two years, giving Malaysians the option of buying a locally made energy efficient vehicle," he added.