Saturday, 18 November 2017
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The 2017 Malaysia Autoshow closed its curtains last Sunday, with more than 250,000 in attendance.

When the idea fully government-backed annual motorshow was mooted more than three years ago, little did I expect the show to grow so much within such a short span of time.

Recently, there is rising belief that vehicle showcases have lost its relevance. Some argue that the cost outweigh the benefits, while others argue that the amount of news coverage on the Internet is enough to provide necessary information to the public all year around.

To be frank - I truly beg to defer.

The global automotive industry is going through its most rapid revolution.

We've seen this before in an other industry when the mobile phone suddenly emerged as a lifestyle tool: hundreds of contraptions combined into a singular devide, addressing numerous daily problems from basic arithmetic to hailing taxis to get to the airport on time.

Cars now need to evolved in the same manner. Perhaps, when we were busy driving our own cars for the last century, it wasn't really an issue.

However, as self-driving cars are getting closer to commercial reality, we will surely start considering what we will do with all that free time!

Therefore, consumers of the Malaysian automotive market must also see - and experience - this change in trends. There is no better way than the autoshow, which allows such experience to ultimately turn into the initiation of the purchase decision, all in a single location.

It is a purchase decision with the ultimate array of choices for the consumer - a first-hand explanation by numerous brand dealers, followed by test drives along the 3km test track at the autoshow's new home on the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park ground in Serdang.

With that, I'd like to convey my heartfelt gratitude to all industry players. Thank you to the original equipment manufacturers who, on their own accord,put up a great display for visitors, from test drives of latest energy efficient vehicles models all the way to driving experiences on custom-built off-road tracks, which maximised the customer experience for visitors, particularly in the area of vehicle safety technology.

My deepest gratitude to the vendors and after-sales businesses who paved the way for a deeper appreciation for the industry, allowing Malaysians to understand how these sectors contribute tothe grander scheme of the industry - the biggest pool of high technology jobs and business opportunities in the industry.

A round of applause to those who made the Kuala lumpur International Automotive Symposium (KLIAS2017) and the SoundValley Festival 2017 a tremendous success.

They were amazing introductions to the autoshow, and brought together automotive experts and music lovers into a single locsation - a symbol of the ever-evolving culmination of motoring and lifestyle we expect to see in the future.

The autoshow would not have grown without the full support of the Malaysian government, through the International Trade and Industry Ministry.

Thank you for your undivided attention to the autoshow for the last three years, and it is our pleasure to keep this momentum going with your continued support for the automotive industry.

To my team - the core talent who made all this happen - there are no words to describe how proud I am.

From our beginnings only seven years ago, to maintaining the passion, dedication and competitive spirit needed to organise the largest motor show the nation as seen, is truly remarkable.

Lastly, I thank The Almightly for His grace and blessing on all proceedings.

Congratulations to all who made the 2017 Malaysia Autoshow a huge success, and we hope to see you again next year!

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

By the time you read this article, the Malaysia Autoshow 2017 would have opened its doors to visitors. The autoshow will run from today to November 12 2017 at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park in Serdang (MAEPS).

The event is in line with the National Automotive Policy 2014 (NAP2014) focus of making Malaysia the regional hub for Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEVs).

To become an EEV hub, it is not only about design and production, but also public buy into the idea of energy efficiency.

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

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 250,000 visitors, and to maximise its potential, decided to move this year's show to the vast grounds of the MAEPS.

This year, 170 exhibitors will showcase a wide range of products and services from the various sectors that make up the automotive ecosystem.

Similar to any motor show of global standing, they are here to allow participants to experience the full breadth of the automotive economy.

Most importantly, the Malaysia Autoshow serves as a testament to the number of chioces given to consumers. It signifies the government's commitment to showcasing mobility solutions that are increasing in fuel efficiency, safety and security.

For this very reason, the activities at the Malaysia Autoshow is structured to allow Malaysians to gain first-hand experience of the mobility solutions on offer in the market.

Visitors have the opportunity to test-drive various models from different brands in the true spirit of consumer choice. The test drives take place on a 3km test route, so visitors can truly experience the models they are interested in.

Not of all of us, myself included, are privy to the experience of premium models. For a small fee, the Malaysia Automotive Autoshow provides this experience through models such as the Bentley Bentayga and Ford Mustang.

Adventurers seeking an extreme off-road experience can catch the 4x4 Taxi Ride.

Meanwhile, those with a taste for motorsports can try the Karting Slalom - which is open to visitors aged eight and above.

Running concurrently with the Autoshow is The Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Symposium (KLIAS 2017). KLIAS 2017 is an annual meeting in Malaysia of global automotive professionals and players.

This event also serves as a platform for market experts to gather and share the latest trends, technologies, advancements and policies in the industry.

For those seeking career opportunities, they can visit the KLIAS Career Fair on the last two days of the Malaysia Autoshow. Around 3,000 vacancies are available to those interested to join the industry.

Additionally, The SoundValley Festival will also be held in conjunction with the Malaysia Autoshow. SoundValley Festival 2017 will feature eleven local and internationally renowned bands from Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and England.

This combination will provide a lively ambience for all visitors to the Malaysia Autoshow 2017

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive Institute

The Autoshow That Is Designed for All

Malaysia Automotive Institute takes a step further this year by taking the Malaysia’s largest annual autoshow to a whole new level. Malaysia Autoshow 2017, with the theme of “Smart, Safe and Sustainability Mobility” will take place on the 9th to 12th November from 10am until 9pm at the Malaysia Argo Exposition Park, Serdang (MAEPS).  MAEPS will be the nation's largest autoshow venue, will be the first autoshow in Malaysia to feature a symposium and music festival.


The Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Symposium (KLIAS) and SoundValley Festival 2017 will be held concurrently with Malaysia Autoshow 2017, in the same location. 


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Malaysia Autoshow 2017

Malaysia Autoshow 2017 brings in more excitement this year, with a total of 170 exhibitors coming to showcase a wide range of automotive elements, providing motor enthusiasts to gain an insight of the products and services that are being offered by their favourite brand.


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This is a must-attend event where visitors are allowed to test drive different models of cars from different brands, in search for the ideal car. The test drives take place on a 3 km test route, so visitors can truly experience the models they are testing.


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For those who love speed, Karting Slalom is one of many outdoor activities during the event on 11th and 12th of November from 9AM to 6PM. Introduced by the International Karting Commission of the Federation International de l’Automobile (FIA), this event is specially catered for visitors who have never competed in motorsports.


Karting Slalom is available not just for adults but also for children from 8 years old and above. Vouchers worth RM2,000 of BHP fuel will be given to winner, RM 1,500 of BHP fuel for second-place and RM 1,000 for third-place.  All qualifiers will also receive a fuel voucher worth RM 30 from BHP. For more details check-out


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Besides this, visitors should also grab the opportunity to experience Super Car Taxi Ride. This is an activity by Medan Quantum Sdn Bhd, to provide visitors with a golden opportunity to gain a premium and pleasurable experience of riding Bentley Bentayga or Ford Mustang GT 5.0 for a distance of 3km around the event location for only RM30.




A Peugeot 208 PureTech worth RM89,888 will also be given away to a lucky participant who purchased the Malaysia Autoshow 2017 ticket.



Vehicle Inspection is an important aspect of road safety, and car owners need to know the requirements of a car that is fit for safe use on the road. For this reason, Car Care Week will continue to feature at this year's Malaysia Autoshow 2017. All visitors will be given an opportunity to enjoy a 39-point car inspection, for free, during the event.


Other than that, a total of RM 30,000 car tint film vouchers will be given away to 15 lucky winners everyday day. Each winner will be able to bring back the car tint film voucher worth RM 500.


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Visitors can purchase tickets through or during the event day at the price of only RM10. Children below the age of 12 are allowed in for free!


Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Symposium (KLIAS 2017)

The Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Symposium (KLIAS 2017) is the meeting of automotive minds, exchanging of ideas and knowledge, understanding of policy directions, networking and business matching in the automotive industry. Industry players from diversified sectors include transport, automotive, technology, legal and insurance are welcomed to the event.


KLIAS 2017 will take place in conjunction with Malaysia Autoshow 2017, from 8th to 12th November in Hall D2, MAEP Serdang from 9:30AM to 5PM.




KLIAS 2017 is an annual meeting in Malaysia of global automotive professionals and players. This event also nserves as a platform for the market experts to gather and share the latest trends, technologies, advancements and policies in the automotive industry. The gathering is an opportunity to connect foreign and local industry players.


Employment opportunities are an important feature KLIAS 2017. The KLIAS Career Fair takes place on 11th and 12th November from 10am to 6pm. An estimated 3,000 vacancies are available for those interested to join the automotive industry.


For symposium fees and other information, please visit

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SoundValley Festival 2017


Malaysia Automotive Institute and RSVP Media Sdn Bhd is presenting a one-of-a-kind combo, integrating the Malaysia Autoshow 2017 with SoundValley Festival. 


The music festival will take place on 11th and 12th November from 2pm until 11.30pm and will be a new experience for visitors where motor enthusiasts and music fans come together in a common platform to share their interests. 


SoundValley Festival 2017 will be featuring eleven local and internationally renowned bands from Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and England. The bands are Bloc Party, Bunkface, Hujan, Barasuara, and The Otherside Orchestra who will be performing on the first day.


Another group of bands including Loudness, Wings, May, Metalasia, FiftyOne50 and Cassandra will be performing on the second day of SoundValley Festival 2017.


The two-day music festival offers different musical experiences through diverse music genres. This combination will provide a lively ambience for all visitors who visit Malaysia Autoshow 2017.


Visitors with SoundValley Festival 2017 tickets will be given a complimentary ticket to Malaysia Autoshow 2017, providing them the best of both worlds.


Ticket purchase is available through and outlets at The Gardens; Mid Valley, Sungei Wang, Amcop Mall, Gurney Plaza and Queensbay Mall in Penang.


For more information log on to





By car:

Visitor parking is available at RM5. Shuttle trams will ferry visitors to the Exhibition Halls througout the day. Just follow the directions of the parking marshalls!

Public transport:

1. We are providing FREE bus shuttle from KTM Serdang station to Malaysia Autoshow 2017!

RapidKL busses will be available every hour from 8:30am – 9pm at KTM Serdang on the weekdays and there will be 4 busses on the weekend operating from 8:30am – 12am! RapidKL Bus will drop you off at the public parking area, GATE 1 while the shuttle service will be available every 15mins at the public parking area, GATE 1 to take you directly to the exhibition halls.

2. An RM8 discount is given to visitors using GRAB CAR. The promo code is AUTOSHOW 



Most of the areas in and around the exhibition spaces are accessible to those in wheelchairs. We also provide parking space close to the exhibition halls for persons with disabilities (PWDs). Just identify yourself to the marshals, they will guide you to the parking space near Hall B.

Malaysia Autoshow 2017



Contact Person: Mohd Norazli Mohd Salleh

Contact No.: 013- 860 0582

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


Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Symposium (KLIAS 2017)


Contact Person: Dato’ Alex Lye

Contact No.: 012-3333108

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


Contact Person: Datin Lorela Chia

Contact No.: 012-2783899

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


SoundValley Festival 2017



Contact Person: Roslan

Contact No.:012-2988446

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

Contact Person: Sue

Contact No.:017-6886312

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



MAI-UniSA PhD Research Programme is now open for application!

Interested candidates who have Master Degree in the field of Engineering with a high GPA (>3.00), should submit their resumes at the link below.

The deadline to submit your CV is on 23 November 2017.

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

We will contact selected candidates for an interview and briefing session on the 27 November 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 


Bakri Hj Alias 

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

017 3655765 

Facebook: Send a private message at

Send your resume in today!

MAI UNISA Scholarship program 27nov2017

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

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The AIC, based in MAI, Cyberjaya is a collaboration platform between Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) and University of South Australia (UniSA) to promote advance research in Nano or molecular engineering of functional surfaces and new disruptive manufacturing technology, Supply Chain Management and Market development for export opportunities.

The AIC provides a research and development platform for a wide range of automotive engineering issues. 

AIC 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. 

Upon completion of the research program, researchers will be awarded a Doctor of Philosophy from University of South Australia (UniSA).


1. What is MAI-UniSA Automotive PhD Research scholarship program?

This is a collaborative program initiated by Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) and University of South Australia (UniSA), Adelaide, Australia. This program offers scholarship to candidates to do PhD studies (full time basis) on issues of Malaysia automotive industry at UniSA.

2. What are the areas of research identified to be conducted?

The areas of research  include nano or molecular engineering of functional surfaces, new disruptive manufacturing technology, supply chain management and market development for export opportunities.

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 UniSA. 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-UniSA will evaluate and call you for an interview.

7. What is the minimum qualification for entry?

MAI-UniSA 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 and your CGPA less than 3.0 can be considered.

8. How long is the PhD study?

The term of the study is full time 33 months.

9. Can I do my PhD while working (part-time)?

This PhD study is a full time program and students are expected be fully committed to the work all the time.

10. When is the starting date?

The research will start upon official enrolment of the candidate with UniSA and approval of student Visa from Australian Government.

The government's attitude towards federal spending has changed significantly over last few years.

Firstly, there was transformation in the way government revenue was generated through the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax in 2015.

Despite numerous polemics, it is one of the lowest rates for value-added tax in the world, with a high number of zero-rated essential goods and services.

Compared to the previous Sales and Services Tax, revenue increase more than twofold. This increase was due to the introduction of a tax model that allowed for a broader tax collection base, reducing loopholes through more accurate tax reporting and improved measures to combat tax evasion.

Secondly, the age-old subsidy model gradually evolved to allow better targeting of those who really needed them. Along with fuel subsidy restructuring, the government introduced numerous cash returns to the bottom 40 per cent household income group.

However, the impact of this additional government revenue was offset by the appreciation of the US dollar against the ringgit in 2015. It was clear that the nation was highly dependent on imports and the domestic economy, and higher value economies needed to be generated that spurred import substitution.

To add salt to the wound, the drastic drop in oil prices further offset government revenue.

It is therefore significant that a large portion of the 2018 Budget continues the allocation for long-term development goals, with key focus on digitalisation, Industry 4.0 and national transformation by 2050.

For example, RM46 billion, or 16 per cent of the budget, has been allocated for development expenditure. Education received RM61 billion, or 21  per cent, which is much higher compared with countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, which ranges between two and 17.6 per cent. Ten per cent of the 2018 Budget goes to healthcare, examplifying our world-class public healthcare system.

Naturally, the benefits of the above do not manifest themselves immediately. It is also rare to be excited about benefits that will come in the future. Not many say they are excited about going to school, but know they must go in order to secure a future of high value. Long-term planning is never sexy. Yet, without it, our upward mobility and competitive edge would definitely be lost.

This year's budget will allow more development enhancement within the automotive industry, in line with Malaysia Automotive Institute's (MAI) four pillars - job creation, career enhancement, business opportunities and business enhancement.

Next year, MAI aims to create 5,000 semi-skilled jobs in line with Technical and Vocational Education and Training. Another 1,730 skilled jobs will be created through MAI's career enhancement programmes focusing on digital engineering, quality management and advanced process design.

More than 300 parts and components manufacturing will undergo enhancement in line with Industry 4.0 in key areas of product design, smart manufacturing and automation capabilities. Futhermore, 1,000 automotive workshops will be enhancement to boost the performance of the after-sales sector.

These programme and the continuation of the National Automotive Policy are geared towards further improving import substitution and exports. Next year, we are aiming to increase localisation to RM11 billion from RM9.5 billion this year, and exports of automotive products to RM13 billion from RM12 billion.

November is that time when businesses start detailing their internal budgets, and it is also when we look at ways to enhance our careers for next year. I invite you to speak to us on further enhancing ourselves to brave the new frontiers of 2018. Speak to us now, and we can get started immediately.

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

The story of modern powered vehicles began in the late 19th century, when the four-stroke cycle engine was built in 1876, with Karl Benz starting the first commercially produced motor vehicles a decade later.

At the time, the vehicles running on internal combustion engines were subject to the same challenges we face today with alternative powertrains - there was a distinct range anxiety and refuelling options.

Perhaps many are also unaware that during this time, the internal combustion engine faced competition with two other powertrain designs - the steam engine, as well as the electric vehicle (EV).

At the time, internal combustion engines shared a similar market share with electric vehicle, with the rest dominated by steam powered engines.

However, the next few decades saw the demise of electric mobility, as internal combustion engines won the battle in overcoming the anxieties of motorists - it was modestly priced, easy to maintain, travelled long distances and ran on a readily available source of energy.

EVs required bulky batteries, had short storage life and could run less that 100km. The mass production of petrol vehicles by Henry Ford further closed the chapter for EVs - as fuel costs and environmental concerns have resulted in uncertainty in the viability of fossil-fuel based transportation.

While more efficient internal combustion engines made way into the market to address the issue of fossil fuel dependence - alternative powertrains, in particular electric vehicles, are increasing in popularity as a solution to future mobility modes.

Many carmakers took large risks in developing such technology, as the development of EVs are not just subject to consumer range anxiety - the key reason for its historical demise - but also the infrastructure and power grid issues.

A century ago, it was about a few people wanting to move as fast and as far as posible. Today, however, it is about billion of motorists searching for the solution to sustainable mobility.

At least we are clearer about the EV direction than we have ever been.

Numerous cities around the world have set targets for zero vehicle emission within the next one or two decades. This will definitely come with the commitment of improved and more environmentally-friendly power generation and distribution technology in the near future.

While battery technology has improved in terms of weight and energy storage capacities, new breakthroughs are also seen in charging capabilities - charging times are now reduced, and on board charging technology, such as fuel cell and regenerative braking, are gaining traction.

Understanding and adapting to these developments are of high importance, especilally for a car-producing nation such as Malaysia. It is for this very reason that energy-efficient vehicles emerged a core feature in the National Automotive Policy 2014 (NAP2014).

More importantly, the electrification of transportation is not just about powertrains.

This version of electrification now comes with an added twist of "electronification". Simply put, today's electric mobility solutions that complement electric powertrains, such as autonomous driving, advanced sensors, data connectivity and integration with intelligent urban transport systems.

The NAP2014 will be reviewed from time to time to ensure that it stays relevant to the capacity enhancement needs of the domestic industry. I look forward for feedback from all stakeholders on how we can create an industry that can respond to disruptions within the global automotive markets.

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malysia Automotive Institute

MAI and MIDF forms Strategic Alliance to Enhance the Competitiveness of Vendors in the Malaysian Automotive Industry domestic 

Kuala Lumpur, 19th October. Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) and Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Berhad (MIDF) entered into a strategic alliance today, signifying the launch of the MAI-MIDF Industry 4.0 Development Programme to further catalyse the development of automotive parts & components manufacturers, towards supply chain excellence, efficient manufacturing, and higher value competitiveness by enhancing technical capability and streamline financial support.

This collaboration merges MAI's capacity building programs such as the Automotive Supplier Excellence Programme (ASEP) and Lean Production System (LPS) that designed to enhance productivity within the manufacturing operations of vendors, focusing on creating world-class vendors for a more competitive and sustainabledomestic automotive industry with MIDF's industry funding capacities, to create a comprehensive development programme for the Malaysian automotive supply chain.


Vendors who have completed the ASEP and LPS programmes would now be eligible for funding for the implementation of Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 related activities within their operations.

“Collaborations such as these are now more important than ever, they allow us to capitalize on each other strengths and specialisations to serve the automotive community." said Dato Madani Sahari, CEO of MAI.

“MIDF’s collaboration with MAI will assist the local automotive manufacturers as well other supporting automotive service providers to achieve international standards and be ready for the international markets. We are expecting to fund 120 companies with a total financing assistance of up to RM200 million between 2018 and 2020. Thus far, MIDF has assisted companies in the automotive sector with financing amounting to RM544.8 million” said MIDF Group Managing Director, Datuk Mohd. Najib Hj. Abdullah.

Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) and Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Berhad (MIDF) are agencies under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). This collaboration is expected to increase the volume of high value jobs and business opportunities within the Malaysian automotive industry.

The celebration of Deepavali, or the festival of lights, finds it roots from Hindu legends that romanticise the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.

Similar to any belief system, Islam included, religions advocate the derivation of success from overcoming negative elements, be it internal or external. It is the concept where evil is characterised as elements that distract us from a proper, or good way of life.

As we sink into our festive moods, I'd like to take this opportunity to relate this age-old concept to the modern daily and professional times we live in today.

Traditional stories of physical wars are obviously an obsolete form of competition. While the barbaric notion of wars involving massive life loss has been replaced with peaceful convention of highly civilised diplomacy, competition is still a relevant and healthy notion - the healthy competitionof ideas, innovation and industry preserves human curiosity and promotes progress of society.

Many articles in this column have discussed the need to develop internal capacities that meet global needs. However, actual quality and perceived quality are two different beasts that need to be tamed in each organisation.

While market size is an important factor, we find many businesses struggling to sell even if they are located within those markets. In a world of around seven billion people, only a handful of brands own a sizeable share of the global smartphone market, with Samsung and Apple holding more than a third of global brand loyalty.

In the 90s, a phone was used mainly for calls and text messages. The major mobile phone brands seemed content that their innovation from wired to wireless communication was revolutionary.

When the iPhone was introduced, it set an entirely new belief system in mobile phones - they traditional from mobile communication devices to a comprehensive lifestyle assistant. Apart from calls and texts, they hailed taxis, gave us cooking recipes, allowed us to watch video and listen to music on demand, and such more at the press of a virtual button.

Today, modern battles are fought to win the hearts of consumers, and those who are able to do so are the winners.

Is it impossible for us? The answer is simple. Was South Korea always known as a car manufacturing? Did Tesla emerge as a spin-off from a major carmaker? Was Alibaba the first e-commerce platform? Major brands did not emerge from just having excellent design teams, large factories or innovative supply chains. While these capabilities are undeniable, the X-factor to their success was the ability to match their products to those who needed them, creaating new blue oceans for them to succed.

In today's era of marketing, saying everything is saying nothing. As businesses, we must be able to identity, in specific detail, what are the solutions we are providing to our clients.

In the fourth industrial revolution, being a big player is no longer a proven advantage. Technology has allowed smaller, leaner entities to find the needed wiggle room to penetrate global markets. The most important is to reach customers and markets that match the strengths of your business and develop a positioning that propagates loyalty through strong customer belief and perception.

The game of globalisation has changed for the betterment of all, and before we fight the good fight, we must believe first and foremost in ourselves.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all Hindus a happy Diwali

The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive institute

It's funny how American potato chips command a higher price compared to our local chips made from bananas or tapioca.

Processes are most likely the same, yet they differ in perception or "status" as the preferred snack between meals.

The basic principle behind the success of a product is value, with production cost often irrelevent to the purchasing decision of the consumer. Simply put, we will part with our hard earned money when the perceived value of a product or service is equal or exceeds its price.

Perceived value is not just derived from quality and pricing alone. It is also a function of the consumer psychography - the experience, stature, financial flexibility and also the customers' level of need.

It is not surprising why most economocally-developed nations not only possess strong foundations in the optimisation of their manufacturing or service operations, but also have developed an understanding in the psychometry of their customers by tailoring their products to the behaviours and purchasing decisions of different market segments within their ecosystem.

The free market and liberal economic world view, prevalent in the latter half of the 20th century, was perhaps a product of this understanding of consumer behaviour. Naturally, businesses with access to larger markets attained a wider reach for their tailored products and services, and faired better within the globalised economy. With diminishing economic borders in the 21st century, this equalled the playing field between nations with different population size.

As we progress, one key disruption to conventional economic theory was the advent of e-commerce. Connected globalisation had somewhat equalled the playing field between big businesses and small players.

Key examples include Lazada and Facebook, Internet companies that grew in the shadow of much larger competitors to emerge champions of their targeted markets. Interestingly, these companies grew in size with one specialisation - they owned customers without having their own products. They partner other companies, each with their own specialisation, and the interdependence of these large network of businesses contribute to the success of each, perceived as a single brand or entity.

The world speaks of the global value chain concept. As products and services grow in complexity due to technological advancement, it becomes impossible for an entity to invest in all specialisations to bring forth a particular product to the world.

With specialisation being the key word, here, it doesn't matter if you are a car manufacturer, a textile trader or a tapioca chip procuder - your specialisation needs to be matched to the appropriate global value chain for any chance of global success.

Failure to customise products in a world that is growing ever much closer to mass customisation - honing down to specific consumer analytics - may diminish the perceived value of products that are our comparative advantage.

I believe that a shift in focus is required, here, in which funding and government policies must evolve not just in line with changing trends, but rapidly changing economic norms. While fundamentals of marketing and business will remain, business models must keep up with changes in the "rules" of the game.

The best player may no longer score points when the rules of the games change.

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

Thursday, 12 October 2017 03:37

MAI and Greentech Malaysia for Low Carbon Mobility

Written by

MAI and Greentech Malaysia for Low Carbon Mobility

12 October 2017, Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) and Greentech Malaysia signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to streamline and strengthen efforts & initiatives towards lower carbon mobility in Malaysia.


MAI, the agency under the Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI) responsible for the development of the automotive industry which includes energy efficient mobility, will enhance collaboration with Greentech Malaysia, the organization under the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) tasked to increase penetration of green technology within Malaysia.

Since its formation, MAI has been continuously forwarding Malaysia’s drive towards becoming a regional Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) hub, which includes the manufacturing and aftersales development for vehicle with efficient internal combustion engines (ICE), hybrid technology, and alternative powertrains such as battery or fuel cell electric vehicles (EVs and FCVs).

Greentech Malaysia on the other hand is championing electric vehicle roll out initiatives and is currently the owner of the national EV charging networks with “chargEV” mark.

“Despite the specialisations of MAI and Greentech Malaysia, we often find commonality in our goals, knowledge and resource pool. This MoU is a great example of collaboration, and reduced duplication of limited resources towards the pursuit of greater technology penetration in our ecosystem,” said Datuk Madani Sahari, CEO of MAI.

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