When the National Automotive Policy 2014 was announced three years ago, little did we know that in the next few years, we will face economic uncertainty.
Despite significant gains in 2014, in early 2015, there were signs of an appreciation of the US Dollar.
The government, with full support for the industry, quickly moved to anticipate the issue and implement the measures required to counter its effects.
Despite pressing times, the industry still recorded its highest ever sales and production volumes that year.
Although the figures dropped in 2016, data showed a more holistic gain. We saw an increase in the number of jobs created, and recorded higher exports of automotive parts and components.
Registration of Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEVs) rose to 42.8 percent, surpassing the national target of 40 percent for that year.
Such is the resilience we see in our automotive ecosystem. The tireless efforts and collaboration between government bodies and industry players have contributed immensely to the enhancement of competitiveness of the ecosystem, allowing more choices for consumers at all market levels.
With that said, it is key to synergise our efforts with the needs of the consumer – as they are the most important stakeholder.
To implement a successful EEV program, it is important that consumers play a more participative role in the purchasing process.
In the modern age of social media, this process has expanded beyond the time the customer walks through the showroom door to the point of sales. It is now an immersive and most importantly, a continuous experience.
In of the digital age, the subject of transportation and mobility is always an issue that dominates our airtime and attention span, even when we don’t have a need for a new car. The market is continuously excited with the latest models that consume less fuel and produce less emissions.
We always seek the latest trends, technologies and features that fit our needs. Most of the time, the consumer has done his or her homework way before the purchase process is even initiated.
With that in mind, this year’s Malaysia Autoshow 2017 aims to further enhance awareness and experience for the consumer. For the first time, the autoshow will be held at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS).
The largest exhibition space in the country was chosen to provide consumers and car lovers with a more immersive autoshow experience.
The extensive roads and tracks around the venue allows for better test drive experience for the vehicles put on show, allowing consumers to understand the benefits of EEVs first hand.
The large exhibition halls allow more exhibitors to be part of the Malaysia Autoshow 2017. While more vehicles, technologies and other exhibits are on display, this year’s event will feature a larger automotive conference.
Visitors will have the opportunities to meet and engage with top automotive personalities, and gain more insight of automotive trends, technologies, as well as business and career opportunities within our growing automotive industry.
Now in it’s third year, the Malaysia Autoshow 2017 will be a product and reflection of the hard work put forth by all stakeholders.
It will be a symbol of the resilience of the automotive industry, and an annual gathering where consumer’s choice and industry technology come together under one roof.
I believe this market amalgamation will add momentum to our efforts to enhance the automotive sector to achieve greater heights.
The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.