Monday, 25 September 2017
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There has been interesting progress in terms of Malaysia's development of late, particularly on the global front.

From reports of trade surplus to strengthening ties with the world's superpowers, we have been making headlines.

This momentum is not only a result of our progressive economic policies and political stability, but also due to the continuous support and participation of the lowest common denominators in our economy.

The government and the people transitioned into higher value economic activities through forward thinking strategies that allowed us to quickly adapt to the dynamics of global scenarios and trends.

This progressive approach, including the government and economic transformation programmes had earned us the recognition of respected global organisations such as the World Economic Forum and The Economist.

Who would have thought that a developing nation now ranked among the best in the world on several fronts.

We currently have one of the best healthcare systems in the world, and are recognised as one of the best places to invest and to start a business. We are ranked among the top 10 faster-growing economies in the world.

These achievements did not come through mere luck, as they are a testament to our strength as a nation.

The current administration has prepared us better for the liberalised economy. Of course, it is not always a smooth ride, as beautiful destinations are often discovered at the end of the roughest of roads.

Traditional borders and business dealings are rapidly fading away, giving way to a new digital ecosystem that transcend boundaries.

While this lowers barriers to entry for small businesses, it also forces liberalisation - the creative and innovative survive, and those that refuse to budge from protectionist mentalities become irrelevant.

Therefore, the open frontiers of global cyberspace necessitate an open mind to new ideas and bold, strategic approaches. The rapid change mentioned above also allows for emerging possibilities that were deemed impossible before.

This is why pre-conceived bias is a dangerous thing. It becomes a lot more dangerous when sources of information are unfiltered, making it easy to develop pre-conceived bias that tends to overpower credible reporting.

Recently, we have seen these bold approaches in the government's position on the socio-economic front.

Our wealth is now more diversified to include both foreign and domestic investment. We encourage international ventures through startegic alliances with global players, and we are taking a leading role to address humanitarian issues and security concerns in the region.

Nevertheless, these endeavours have not been spared from condemnation. While constructive criticism is most welcome, we must be careful of polemics that may cause the retardaation of progress in society, and leave our nation vulnerable to external threats.

To maintain and elevate our progress, Malaysians must be open minded and unbiases. We must look at the merits of any issue on a case by case basis, based on well-researched facts and sound rationale. There is always two sides of the story, there is always a bigger picture to consider.

For me, discussion and dialogue are an important components of quality decision-making. There are many platforms to do so, such as the Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50) dialogues, and the call for ideas for the annual budget.

It is therefore important that pre-conceived bias is removed, for meaningful dialogue to take place. Let the arguments be understood, analysed and avoid polarised positions.

Not all of us have the luxury to make decisions. To move forward, a decision still has to be made. There will be many opinions, and naturally it is imposible to satisfy everyone. However, decisions that have been made should be supported, despite our disagreements.

To do otherwise would simply be counter-productive.

Leadership has never been about absolute popularity, but making difficult decisions even though they may not be popular.

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 04:08

What Makes a Car Qualified to be Called an EEV?

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What Makes a Car Qualified to be Called an EEV?

 

With so much buzz about Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEVs) entering the market, do we really know what qualifies them to be one? Does a vehicle qualify as an EEV just by emitting less carbon monoxide? Not sure? Well, here’s a list of criteria that will surely help you identify the next EEV you see.

Malaysia has taken the issue of air pollution seriously so much so that the National Automotive Policy 2014 (NAP2014 ) was announced in 2014 with the main objective of making Malaysia a regional automotive hub of EEVs. According to the Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI).

Many may not realise that EEVs are not just electric vehicles. In general, EEVs are any vehicle that complies to a set of fuel efficiency standards (1/100km) and carbon emission requirements (g/km).

This includes vehicles with any powertrain, such as internal combustion engines (ICE), fuel efficient vehicles, Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), Plug-in Hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and full electric vehicles (EV). The NAP2014 also recognises vehicles propelled by other energy sources such as; Compressed Natural Gas, Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Biodiesel, Ethanol, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell.

 

Infographic EEV 070917

 

Fuel efficiency is measured according to the UN ECE R101 standard. The specifications mentioned above are divided into 14 different classes – 10 for cars and four for two-wheeled vehicles. Whichever type of vehicle it is, they would still have to conform to the two criteria – fuel efficiency and carbon emissions. The Malaysian government expects 85% of all vehicles produced locally to be EEVs by 2020. Domestic EEV sales in 2015 and 2016 stood at 32.6% and 42.8% respectively of the overall vehicle sales.

 

 

Infographic EEV 070917 rev01

 

Besides the fact that we get higher fuel economy and cleaner air in our ecosystem, car manufacturers can enjoy tax exemptions on hybrid and electric vehicles BUT it must assembled locally. In the meantime, efforts towards establishing battery manufacturing for EVs in the local scene is underway together with lithium powder, battery cells and battery assembly packs useful for the production of lithium based batteries are all expected to commence by the 2nd quarter of 2017.

 

EEV

 

Did you know that Malaysia already has electric car charging stations? Yup, you heard that right! These stations are located all over Malaysia including the Klang Valley, Penang, Malacca and Johor. Popular shopping centres such as KLCC, Lot 10, Petronas Solaris and Bangsar Shopping Centre provide this service together with several Nissan service centres. While we were too caught up with other popular brands producing their EEVs, little did we know that we too, have produced our very own EEV! And that’s none other than the Perodua Axia that was launched in September 2014. Want to find out more? Attend the Malaysia Autoshow on November 9 to 12, 2017 to feast your eyes on all the EEVs available!

In the mean time, watch these videos to know more about EEVs and the future of the automotive industry!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vYdQ2vNK7U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqwPcL4TiGs&t=73s

This weekend, we close the year’s season in the celebration of freedom and nationalism. For me, it also serves as a reminder of how far we, as a nation, have progressed.

Although progress is often judged through economic indicators, capitalist ideals of personal wealth posession can in no way be a yardstick for true progress. It is difficult to fathom the social acceptance of being only rich by bank account, and bankrupt morally and principally.

From the economic standpoint, the last few years have been challenging. We felt the pinch of dropping oil prices, unfavourable currency exchange rates and rising costs of living.

We had to make some tough decisions that included tax restructuring and budget re-prioritisation for the sake of sustainability.

Apparently, social media and economic uncertainty is not a good mix. Tough times can bring the harshest of emotions and muddle meaningful discussions.

Positive indicators are often at high risk of being specialist knowledge, such as being ranked among the top 25 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, or The Economist’s ranking Malaysia as the 8th fastest growing economy for last year.

We have also been ranked within the top five countries in terms of healthcare, and best countries to invest or start a business in.

Economically, we have performed well on many accounts despite difficulties we have had to face. As humble as Malaysians are known to be, we should be proud of our resilience.

This column has always advocated fair judgement, and defining progress must be done holistically in order to be fair.

As mentioned above, great civilisations have the ability to advance forward while mitigating the risk of bankruptcy of our moral values, compassion and passion. Societies that have human compassion tend to have better wealth distribution, exemplified by a significant middle class.

Since independence and the formation of our nation, this has always been our guiding principle. We have developed this ecosystem of opportunity through the leveraging of our multi-cultural difference, and peacefully overcome disputes.

Our compassion and humane nature have resulted in a low poverty rate, compared with regional counterparts.

When one of the worst floods hit the state of Kelantan in 2015, Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI), organised a flood relief drive with the automotive industry to alleviate the suffering of our countrymen in the northeast.

To our surprise, the support we received was very overwhelming, we received more than we ourselves could carry.

Recently, we have taken the next step towards regional leadership in humanitarian efforts.

I applaud the administration’s courage in leading humanitarian efforts in addressing the suffering of the Rohingya.

Along with Indonesia, we have agreed to provide temporary shelter to the migrants, to allow the international community to address such a complex humanitarian issue.

This Malaysia Day, let us realign our thoughts to what it means to be a great nation. We are not perfect, and we may have our own issues to work on.

However, as long as we are smart about our problems, and we have that human touch, I believe that would be the formula to not just economic greatness, but a sustainable economic resilience.

Let us be known not only as the nation of great wealth, but also great compassion.

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.

Thursday, 07 September 2017 03:42

MALAYSIA DAY - Our differences are our unique strength

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Many a time this column has addressed the challenges we face in progressing as a nation, from our post-colonial era to becoming one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Just like any infant nation reeling from post-independence, we naturally had our differences that needed addressing. These included income disparity, natural resource distribution, political and governmental ideologies.

Admittedly, there was a time diversity was easy thing to manage. Most people, despite background, want to get on in life as comfortably as possible. We all want peace, economic mobility, health and happiness for our own sake and for our loved ones.

However, it is unfortunate that most of the time, petty differences get in the way and muddle our common goal. As a nation that was born our of a divide and conquer policy, it could have been much worse.

This is where Malaysians are the strongest. True strength lies not in its display, but in its restraint.

Getting to where we are today has, of course, been a struggle. We had to overcome our differences of language, culture and worldview, and naturally overcoming distrust, lack of communication and economic disparity.

Perhaps this struggle is not over, but I can attest we’re advancing.

In 2009, Prime Minister Najib Razak added a new chapter to our progress as a nation. The cabinet announced that 16th September will be a public holiday to allow Malaysians Day. It is an official recognition of the day that we, as Malaysians, truly became a nation.

Today, we are a nation that celebrates our differences. We recognise that it is these differences that make us a progressive nation.

As a Sarawakian who has lived in both Sarawak and the peninsula, I’ve learned to appreciate and witness innovation and creativity bred through our diversity. Homogeneity often breeds bubbles of homogenous, unchallenged thought.

When the people you work with come from diverse backgrounds and world views, they tend to challenge ideas you may have taken for granted. These difference of norms then require defense and dialogue, and the best of ideas are born from such discourse.

My point is simple – our history created a situation where our social engineering placed us in a position to be innovative. The next step now becomes obvious – we need use our unique position to take the nation to the global stage.

So, next time you see Malaysians arguing over their differences, facilitate mature discourse and do not discourage the celebration of those differences. You may witness the next great innovation – born out of diversity.

Fifty four years ago, in 1963, the federation known as Malaysia was officially formed.

It doesn't matter why we decided to form the federation, what matters is that as a nation, we have progressed together because of our collective efforts to move together as one.

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.

This year is one of those rare occasions where National Day and Hari Raya Aidiladha is celebrated back to back with each other. Despite its differences in religion and nationalism, the philosophies behind each celebration bear much correlation with each other.

While achieving independence has been a fundamental victory for us as a nation, the ideals of sacrifice has been enshrined through the Quran such as of the Prophet Ibrahim and his son Prophet Ismail which related symbolically to the hardship faced by our forefathers in bringing us the freedom we have enjoyed for the past six decades.

As citizens of Malaysia, we all have our responsibilities towards the development of our nation. Each generation, however, will have its own challenges which require sacrifice to bring us all to a higher level of independence compared to those who went before us, thus paving the way for even higher heights.

As a result of the efforts of previous generations of Malaysians, we now live in a country with an economy that is envy of the region.

From a generation that came out a times where ethnic diversity was an issue, each generation thereafter has progressed our nation to a point where opportunities for high value employment and business are aplenty.

Sure, there are problems and new issues to address. However, the key difference has been our drive to work on our problems in a peaceful and civilised manner.

This has indeed heightened our meaning of independence.

Today, our fight for independence is no longer from colonisation, but for the freedom from reliance on others to excel at the global stage.

To be an advanced nation, aspiring automotive nations like Malaysia need skilled workforce that is capable of independent technology development, which in turn will bring even more high value businesses and jobs to our shores and help us achieve our high income nations.

Independence also means having the foresight to understand future trends. Better still, be at the forefront of technological advancement, trade and investment, and set those trends for others.

This is of course easily said, but is a huge task to realise.

Nothing is impossible. We were told half a century ago that getting where we are today was impossible. What made us as independent as we are today? The answer is – sacrifice.

Modern times no longer need sacrifice of life like the stories of the Holy Book. However, as our lives become much more fulfilled with technology, the more we need to sacrifice in order to achieve the progress levels we desire.

Automation has transformed our duties and chores, leaving us more space to relax and neglect thinking about the future and focus on the superficial things that are a product of our increased purchasing power.

It sometimes polarises our thinking, leaving us unwilling to move beyond our preconceived notions and norms, suppressing our capacities in creativity, innovation and abilities to learn.

Modern sacrifice is the ability to shed our complacencies by sacrificing our play time to make way for meaningful activities that develop us not just as individuals, but progressive societies and nations.

This week, let us remember the struggles of our Prophets and forefathers. We would not have come this far if not for their grit, wisdom and sacrifice.

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.

Friday, 25 August 2017 02:10

MAI-SUT Automotive Research Scholarship

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Poster Automotive Research Scholarship Program 250817 rev01 07

 

The MAI-SUT Automotive Scholarship Research Programme is a research based post-graduate studies recently launched under the Transport Innovation Centre (TIC). Researchers work directly with the industry to develop novel solutions ascertained from current trends and demands of the automotive sector.

The TIC, based in Kuching, Sarawak is a collaboration platform between Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) and Swinburne University of Technology (SUT). The TIC provides a research and development platform for a wide range of automotive engineering issues.

TIC is seeking innovative and highly motivated research candidates with backgrounds in engineering fields related to mechanical, electrical, mechatronic, manufacturing, and materials as well as information technology and business to join the scholarship programme.

IMG 3063

 

Transport Innovation Center MoU Signing Between MAI & Swinburne University

 

 

 

 

IMG 8348

The MAI-Swinburne Automotive Research Scholarship Awards in Swinburne University of Technology, Kuching, Sarawak.

 

 

Upon completion of the research program, researchers will be awarded a Master of Science from Swinburne University of Technology, Australia.

Interested candidates who have Bachelor’s degree in the field of Engineering with a high GPA, should submit their resumes at the link below. The deadline to submit your CV is 4th September 2017.

Please confirm your interest by filling in the following online form and uploading your resume (in doc or pdf format):

http://bit.ly/2wt4hnT

We will contact selected candidates for an interview and briefing session on the 6th of September 2017 at MAI, Cyberjaya.

If you have any inquiries, feel free to contact:

Dr Ahmad Zainal Abidin

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

019 814 9457

Wan Mohd Hafizi Bin Wan Hassin

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

019 946 4195

Facebook: Send a private message at www.facebook.com/MAIautomotive

Send your resume in today!

 

 

FAQ

1. What is this Master program?

This is a program initiated by Malaysia Automotive Institute and Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. This program offer scholarships to candidates to do Master by Research on issues of Malaysia automotive industry. 

2. Where is the research conducted?

The research is to be conducted at the premise of the participating industry. However students need to constantly contact onitor the progress of the research through meetings and progress presentations.

3. Do I have to find projects myself?

The research project is identified by MAI and the industry and students only need to choose which is the most suitable according to one’s interest and capability.

4. Can I propose projects from the company I work for now?

Yes you can and as long as the proposed project is on automotive and agreed by MAI.

5. Who owns the project after completion?

The project will be jointly owned by the MAI and SUT. However, depending on the commitment and contribution of the industry the project might also be jointly owned. A formal project agreement between all parties will be drafted and agreed upon.

6. How do I apply?

Send in your resume, MAI-SUT will evaluate and call you for an interview.

7. What is the minimum requirement?

MAI-SUT requires minimum CGPA 3.0 in engineering, business or management. However, if you have working experience related to the research you would like to do your CGPA less than 3.0 can be considered.

8. How long is the Master by research?

The term of the study is full time 2 years.

9. Can I do my masters while working?

This Master program is a full time 2 years and students are expected be fully committed and work at the same time.

10. What is the starting date?

The research can start anytime once a candidate is accepted for enrolment

11. Do I have to move to Kuching to join this programme?

You will need to be close to the industry of your research. If the industry of your research is in Semenanjung then you will stay there.

12. Must projects be only solutions for Sabah & Sarawak?

The projects must be solutions for automotive industry. It could be anywhere within Malaysia depending on the industry.

13. I'm currently starting/registered my masters in another university. Can I still conduct my research program under this scholarship?

If you have already started your masters in a university then it is advisable that you continue study there. You will need to start fresh under this master program.

 

 

 

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.

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.

While a developed nation is measured by sovereign or per capita income levels, it is also common to look at the industrialisation level and infrastructure within a country to gauge the status of development.

More often than not, developed nations are characterized as having a strong critical mass of creativity and innovation. While some flaunt the abilities to reach outer space or develop culture changing telecommunication devices, other industrialized nations boast the ability to produce world class education or globally exported quality agro products.

Regardless of core industry, businesses and professionals within these advanced ecosystem tend to have full control of their creative processes – they are able to innovate and bring in solutions to their internal problems, and have the capacity to design the processes, equipment and materials needed to implement those solutions.

Since gaining independence two weeks short of 60 years ago, our nation has seen tremendous economic development. It is safe to say that in comparison with many of our counterparts in the region, we have developed a comfortable middle income economy and a track record of participation in higher value activities. We are blessed with business and job opportunities that provide us the power to gain upward social mobility.

It is now the era to breach our glass ceiling and aggressively participate in more upstream activities. The simple truth remains – the wages of the few individuals whom design the world’s smartphones are a significant portion of product costs, and the remaining are distributed among the thousands that assemble those phones.

Malaysia has embarked in domestic vehicle production for more than three decades now. However, we are still in our teens when it comes to product design capabilities, perhaps slightly wiser in process development.

Proton’s first in-house model, the Waja, was only introduced in the year 2000, merely 17 years ago.

While we have seen some success in the full-fledged design capabilities of our national car project, we have also learned that design capabilities are not a function of individual creativity alone, but also business scale and human capital depth.

Here is the catch – having design capabilities is not as simple as purchasing computer aided design software. It is not just for the designer to draw his dream, and give his team a nightmare.

Design is a mental and physical process and methodology. It requires understanding of mechanical, electronic and chemical function. It requires knowledge or materials, manufacturing process and cost efficiency. Most of the time design teams comprise of people from a large array of disciplines. At the same time, it is also important to procure prototyping capabilities for physical models to be developed, and to better visualize the designed products.

Naturally, the investments involved in setting up design capabilities are massive. Apart from workstations, automotive design requires a large selection of specialized equipment to perform testing and validation of the materials, parts and components developed.

With this in mind, developing design capabilities are a risky venture, not just for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), but even more so for the hundreds of automotive parts and component manufacturers that exist in our ecosystem. It is noteworthy that these companies also happen to be small and medium enterprises, with limited resources.

I hope this industry conundrum will see the beginning of its end this week. Last Monday, Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) launched the MAI Design Center (MAIDC), located in Rawang, Selangor, and it was purpose built to address this very issue. The centre is established to cater to six of the nine core thrusts of MAI’s Industry 4.0 implementation plan for both OEMs and vendors within the automotive industry.

The MAIDC, a collaboration between MAI and Perodua, is fully equipped with 65 workstations for product, tooling and engineering design and simulation. The centre also boasts large surface plates, milling gantries, clay ovens and spray booths to facilitate full scale clay model fabrication. There are also a full range of different sized 3D printers and will soon see a Virtual Reality (VR) design system in place.

Above all, the MAIDC is an important milestone to create higher value careers and job opportunities within the automotive industry. It is time for us to take the next step towards braving the frontier of the fourth industrial revolution.

“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity”.

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.

One of the key ingredients to successful automotive industry development is a policy framework that balances the needs of the industry with the needs of the populace.

During the automotive industry’s infancy, government policy was formulated to allow space for industry growth. As the priority at the time was for a wide array of manufacturing processes to be turned into local business.

During this period, transitioning from an agrarian nation towards higher levels, i.e. the establishment of a manufacturing of factories, tooling capabililities and large scale logistics, were virtually impossible without a “pull factor”.

Local businesses were incentivised to increase investment in high precision manufacturing through the establishment of Proton, Perodua and others.

These projects would create the demand for manufacturing companies to exist within the ecosystem, especially to provide employment to the many graduates that were seeking technical positions.

Fast forward three decades, 27 original equipment manufacturing (OEMs) and more than 700 vendors later, the automotive industry has reached a point where industry challenges have evolved. The world’s consumers have developed a higher consciousness of transportation costs, environmental friendliness, and technological acumen – all within the norms of globalisation and economic liberalisation.

In 2008, the General Motors (GM) bore the brunt of such consumer mindset change. The energy crisis during the mid-2000s reduced domestic demand for GM’s fuel consuming sport utility vehicles and pick-up truck, in the search for more energy efficient alternatives. It took a large government bailout and product restructuring exercise to bring GM back to profitability.

History has shown that these “pull factors” have the power to make or break entire industries.

The National Automotive Policy 2014 (NAP2014) was formulated to create the balance mentioned above, but tailored to the new nuances of the current market scenarios. With energy costs seemingly fluctuating, it is timely that the local industry respond to the needs of the global consumer.

This is one of the main reasons the NAP2014 is focusing on the development of Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEVs) – these are products that address the demand for cheaper, environmentally friendly technology in the cars we produce.

In order to reach the needed scales of success, exportability of both vehicles and automotive components is a key tenet of the NAP2014.

Here is where it gets tricky – in order to export we must establish a local base, i.e. our local businesses must sell energy efficient products within our small market first before any chance of export success can materialise. At the same time, we can no longer afford to implement strong protectinist policies, it comes at a high cost to consumer choice and goes against international trade principles.

Henceforth comes the point of this article.

The current scenario requires the shift of the pull factor from OEMs to the consumer. The rise of energy costs have created an opportunity for the industry to solve the problems of the populace through the EEV direction – and one hurdle is for consumers to understand how these solutions can improve their lives.

It is for this reason the Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) is continuing the tradition of organising the Malaysia Autoshow. The 2017 edition will be held from the 9th to 12th November 2017 at the and Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) and aims to develop awareness through an immersive experience for consumers on the benefits of EEVs.

This year’s Autoshow is expected to be the biggest automotive exhibition and symposium, occupying all three halls and outdoor spaces of MAEPS.

Global brands exhibiting their latest models, especially Energy Efficient Vehicles. Visitors can test drive models and there will be special packages for car buyers at the show to process hire purchases on-site.

There will be automotive lifestyle exhibitions, go-kart slalom, off road drives and many more.

Parallel to the Autoshow will be the KL International Automotive Symposium. The symposium will discuss the major issues of the industry, including autonomous vehicles, electric mobility, intelligent transport system and Industry 4.0. It is expected to draw more than 4,000 participants with more than 30 international speakers.

It is my hope that the Malaysia Autoshow will continue to enhance consumer awareness on sustainable mobility, and emerge as the most anticipated event in the regional automotive calendar.

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI) hosted the Latin American Business Day to bridge business, trade and investment ties between Malaysia and the Latin American nations.

I had the privilege to share my thoughts as a panel speaker for the Automotive track. I talked about the direction country’s automotive industry, in particular the expansion beyond our region. The bigger honour, however, was the opportunity to gain insights from those around me. I would like to share what i had learned.

One of the key evolutions we can expect to see in future business deals is the way transactions are conducted. In the past decade, the world saw tremendous gains in e-commerce activities, exemplified through the emergence of giant entities such as Amazon and E-bay.

These cyber-businesses transformed retail beyond purchasing convenience, and revolutionised purchasing decisions, behaviour and mindset.

Consumers grew to be more informed on the choices they had.

While the playing field became more accessible and transparent, it also gave birth to the logistics nightmare of door-to-door retail – consumers didn’t need to leave their houses to receive their purchases.

Such is the tide of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0). When immersive connectivity is thrown into the business foray, even large companies can dissipate without any signs.

The next mile of Industry 4.0 would most likely shift to the supply chain. We are seeing signs that global sourcing will soon find its way to the same revolution. Imagine a future where carmakers source for components in an Ebay-style bid.

At the Latin American Business Day, I learned that the importing of automotive spare parts through e-commerce channels have gained popularity among workshop owners.

In anticipation of the future, the Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) and International Trade and Industry Ministry are addressing nine core thrusts to allow Malaysian businesses to flourish. These thrusts form the fundamental structure of the MAI Intelligent Technology Systems (MITS).

One of the key challenges is the management of big data. Businesses will need to quickly respond to various consumer, manufacturing and after sales data.

MAI has set up a High Performance Cloud Computing server in its headquarters in Cyberjaya, as well as connected servers in Kuala Lumpur and several locations around the world.

Big Data will encompass the entire breadth and depth of supply chain activity. The computing power mentioned above is connected to several systems that cater to the difference disciplines that make up the automotive industry.

Process development is now made more responsive through MAI’s System Integrator and Manufacturing Execution System. The need for quicker decision making in Production planning, procurement, sales, marketing and financial management is addressed through MAI’s Enterprise Resource Planning and Integrated Industry Information System.

Consumer behaviour can now be understood better through MAI’s Telematics program. Motorists also participate through applications developed by MAI such as MAGIS, Carbengkel and MyAutoApp.

To date, eight out of nine Industry 4.0 thrusts have been developed. The ninth - Augmented Reality - is expected to be implemented next year.

Malaysia’s automotive industry is merely around three decades old. For me, the biggest lesson we have learned is that resisting change and market forces is a last thing we should do. We should focus on predicting and anticipating change before it happens.

The future is essentially about understanding market forces. To compete, we must know our customers’ needs and reflect them quickly in our supply chain.

The only thing that is constant is change. True power is in those who know what will change and react quickly.

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI).

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