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Malaysia to ease restrictions for foreign makers of energy-efficient cars

Published on Jan 20, 2014 11:52 AM

Malaysia will relax restrictions for foreign car makers in the hybrid and electric passenger cars segment as part of plans to become the region's hub for fuel efficient vehicles, according to a new industry policy blueprint to be unveiled this afternoon.

The plans outlined in the 2014 National Automotive Policy (NAP) is also seen as Malaysia's attempt to grab market share from neighbouring Thailand, Asean's largest car market, which is currently in political turmoil as Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra faces daily calls to quit.

Malaysian executives who briefed reporters on the NAP 2014 said the government will give new licences and tax exemptions to car manufacturers that bring in cutting-edge technology in hybrid and electric cars. Excise and import duties exemption for hybrid cars will also continue until 2015, while energy efficient models assembled locally will also enjoy tax exemptions until 2017.

This puts Malaysia in direct competition with larger car industries in Asean, namely Thailand and Indonesia that have also recently launched plans for eco-friendly car.

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