• Madani Sahari

MALAYSIA AUTOSHOW 2017 - Motoring ahead in energy efficiency mode

The International Motor Show Germany (colloquially the Frankfurt Motor Show) was introduced in 1897, in a time when "production" automobiles were gaining popularity around the world. It was born in the period where Karl Benz, attributed as the developer of petrol powered automobiles, had only introduced motorised vehicles to the world in the prior decade or so.

The show grew from less than ten cars on display to become the world's largest motor show it is known for today, and has emerged a trend setter for global automotive production. It's no surprise that Volkswagen, a brand native to Germany, also happens to be one of the biggest vehicle producers in the world by volume.

Half a century later, the Tokyo Motor show was first held in 1954. Interestingly, in its early years the show more prominently featured commercial and two-wheeler vehicles.

That changed when Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry initiated a plan to draw attention to passenger cars by announcing its national car project, which focused on the development of four seater cars at a price range affordable to the public.

It perhaps set the foundation for the cost-effective cars that roll out of Japanese production lines to this very day.

Today, many countries host their own motor shows. Whether public or private ventures, they are purposed not just as sales outlets, but centres to sell ideas and cultures.

The National Automotive Policy 2014 (NAP2014) focuses on making Malaysia the regional hub for Energy Efficient Vehicles, or EEVs. To become an EEV hub, it is not only about design and production, but also public buy into the idea of energy efficiency.

This direction was set based on the government's forecast and analysis of global consumer trends in the decades to come, as the world's population demands for cost effective transportation grows exponentially.

While the government has received tremendous support from original equipment manufacturers and industry players towards the EEV direction, it is important to also receive public buy-in and support for energy efficiency at all levels.

last year, 42.8 per cent of vehicles registered in Malaysia were EEVs, signalling growth at all levels.

This November signals the third year of the government's involvement in the largest autoshow on the Malaysian calendar. The Malaysia Autoshow 2017 will continue to spur growth of the culture of energy efficiency, through the various programmes and activities planned at the event. This year, the government is aiming to attract 200,000 visitiors, and to maximise its potential, decided to move this year's show to the vast grounds of the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS).

With less than three months of preparation left, I hope everyone is ready to be part of an autoshow that will surpass the expectations of the nation. The Malaysia Autoshow will continue to be the pinnacle of energy efficiency and sustainable mobility in the years to come.

Most importantly, cost effective transportation is not limited to the cars we drive. It is a culmination of product design, manufacturing, maintenance and sound consumer decisions.

The Malaysia Autoshow 2017 is designed to this end - a display of Malaysia's automotive culture and future direction, all in the same space.

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