Home Events Car Of The Year 2018 – The Malaysian Automotive Industry Honours The Man That Envisioned It All
Car Of The Year 2018 – The Malaysian Automotive Industry Honours The Man That Envisioned It All

Car Of The Year 2018 – The Malaysian Automotive Industry Honours The Man That Envisioned It All


The Malaysia Car of the Year (COTY) 2018 recognised our nation’s single most influential contributor to the four decade-long drive towards Malaysia’s industrialisation – that has led to increased technology penetration and meaningful participation of Malaysian talent and businesses within the automotive sector.

The Car of the Year 2018 awards recognised its first recipient of the COTY Lifetime Achievement Award. This year’s recipient is none other than Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

The father of the nation’s automotive industry has undoubtedly changed the landscape of the Malaysian economy from its commodities based roots into a flourishing Asian Tiger.

The core of his industrial vision for Malaysia was the creation of nation’s automotive industry, seen through the establishment of the Heavy Industries Corporation of Malaysia (HICOM) in the early 1980s – creating the numerous automotive ventures seen throughout the industry supply chain, still going strong four decades later. This set the path for the creation of the nation’s first national car, Proton and the numerous parts and component manufacturers that exist within its supply chain.

While the conception of Proton spurred a booming after sales sector and a significant raw materials and education system to support such a massive technological effort, it then created the space for Malaysia’s second national car, Perodua to establish itself as a player within the automotive landscape.

The vision of Tun Mahathir has created an unmistakable technological critical mass within the overall Malaysian economy, standing proud today with more that 700 automotive parts and components manufacturers, distributors and dealers, as well as a 700,000 strong Malaysian workforce directly contributing to the nation’s industrialisation agenda.

Industry 4.0 compliance key to future industry growth, MAI to be rebranded to spur robotics and IoT Adoption

Each year, the Car of the Year awards not only highlights the year’s best and most popular cars, but also gives special focus to the personalities that have played key roles in elevating the automotive industry to its current standing seen by the nation today.

“Globally, the automotive sector is the main driver behind the implementation of Robotics and IoT. This can be seen in both the automotive manufacturing and services sectors. Applications such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, Driving Management Systems, camera technology and others that are equipped in modern cars will pave the way to create new businesses and job opportunities through connected mobility”, said Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Darell Leiking.

“I commend the efforts taken by the industry in giving the consumers better choices, as seen in the great turnout at both shows (referring to COTY and the Malaysia Autoshow). More importantly, this demonstrates consumers appetite for more stylish, safer, smart and environmentally-friendly cars is gaining traction and I am sure this trend will continue for years to come”, he added.

He further elaborated on the importance of finding new sources of value and growth through the convergence of new technologies, as the manufacturing sector is seeing unprecedented transformation driven by Industry 4.0 technologies. The National Policy on Industry 4.0 (Industry4WRD), recently launched by Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad.

In his speech, the MITI Minister also announced that the Malaysia Automotive Insitute will be rebranded as the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii). The rebranding exercise would expand the scope of the MITI agency as the focal point, coordinating centre and think tank towards enhancing the competitiveness of the automotive industry and overall mobility, including intelligent transportation system and related services through adoption of Robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Tonight, we also recognise the technological advancements within the automotive scene that has spurred various cross-industrial businesses. In addition to being a mode of transportation, vehicles are also emerging as mobile spaces to fulfil a variety of services. This can be seen as a benefit to both business owners and consumers as vehicles grow to become diversified, smarter and connected”, explained Dato’ Madani Sahari, CEO, MAI.

On the rebranding of MAI to MARii, Dato’ Madani added further, “The advancement of automotive technology will create a convergence with overall mobility towards a higher degree of automation and connectivity. This is expected to spur greater cross-functional applications in Advanced Manufacturing and Advanced IT, with robotics and IoT applications rapidly becoming a fundamental requirement particularly in achieving Industry 4.0 compliance. It is for this very reason MARii will be tasked to undertake the adoption of these two key areas to complement the development of the automotive industry.”

An Awards Night unlike any other – showcasing technology, consumer choice, safety and energy efficiency, as well as the people behind them

The Peugeot 3008 1.6 Active compact crossover was named Malaysia Car of the Year (COTY) 2018 at a glittering awards ceremony organised by the Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) and officiated by Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Datuk Darell Leiking. The Peugeot 3008 1.6 Active also won the Compact Crossover of the Year and Good Design Awards.

The other big winner of the evening was Mercedes-Benz. The German luxury marque took home five awards – Premium Crossover of the Year (GLC200), Premium SUV of the Year (GLC43 AMG), Executive Sedan of the Year (C200 AMG), Premium Sedan of the Year (C43 AMG) and Limousine of the Year (S450L AMG).

Yamin Vong, Chairman of the judging panel, explained that it took a carmaker with a heritage and total confidence in its own style to design something that did not fit the usual mould and yet delivered what the market wanted.

Nominees for the Malaysia COTY Awards were judged based on the following criteria:

  1. Coherence of exterior (stance, proportion) and interior design (ergonomics, comfort, space);
  2. Technical specifications and engineering innovations that match the vehicle’s fitness for purpose, enhance the user experience of both the driver and passengers or advance the evolution of the automobile in some way;
  3. Safety features (passive and active safety aids) and ratings;
  4. Energy efficiency and environmental friendliness; and
  5. Value based not on just the lowest purchase price but the best overall value for money.

The winners were picked after a thorough evaluation process by a panel of nine judges comprising respected professionals and enthusiasts from various industries, including automotive experts, motoring editors and business journalists.

 Special mention awards went to BMW as the best-selling plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) brand and Honda as the best-selling hybrid brand in Malaysia. Mazda also received a special mention award as a top export brand from Malaysia.

President of the Malaysia Automotive Association, Datuk Aishah Ahmad was honoured as 2018’s Automotive Personality of the Year, for her years of contribution as a prominent leading voice towards the development of the Malaysian automotive industry.

Malaysia Autoshow 2019 dates announced at COTY

The dates of the Malaysia Autoshow 2019 were also announced during the awards night. Next year’s edition of the annual motoring experience will again be held at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Sepang (MAEPS) from 11th to 14th April 2019, bearing the theme “Mobility for All”.

List of COTY 2018 Winners

  • Entry Level Car of the Year — Perodua Myvi 1.5
  • Hot Hatch of the Year — Volkswagen Golf 2.0 GTi (Facelift)
  • Pick-up Truck of the Year (Twin Cab) – Ford Ranger 2.2 WildTrak
  • Compact Crossover of the Year — Peugeot 3008 1.6 Active
  • Mid-size Crossover of the Year – Mazda CX-5 2.2 GLS SkyActiv-D 2WD
  • Premium Crossover of the Year – Mercedes-Benz GLC 200
  • MPV of the Year (Below RM200,000) – Kia Grand Carnival 2.2D SX
  • MPV of the Year (Above RM200,000) – Toyota Alphard 3.5
  • Entry Level SUV of the Year – Subaru XV 2.0i-P AWD
  • Mid-size SUV of the Year – Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 4WD
  • Mid-size Premium SUV of the Year – Volvo XC60 T8 Inscription
  • Premium SUV of the Year – Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC43
  • Executive Sedan of the Year – Mercedes-Benz C 200 AMG
  • Premium Executive Sedan of the Year (Above RM300,000) – Mercedes-Benz AMG C43
  • Limousine of the Year – Mercedes-Benz S 450 L AMG Line
  • Car of the Year – Peugeot 3008 1.6 Active