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Luxury Car Manufacturers Urged To Set Regional Hub In Malaysia
May 21, 2007

BEHIND THE WHEEL… Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz gives a thumb’s up after the
launching of the Porsche Centre Penang and the new Porshe Cayenne for
northern market at the Juru Auto-city. Pix: Rosli Nayan

BUKIT MERTAJAM, May 19 (Bernama) -- World luxury car manufacturers are
invited to set up their regional hub in Malaysia as the goverment has
offered good incentives for them to set up their business in the country.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said for
the benefit of the luxury car segment, the government has streamlined the
import duty for the 2,500cc and above passenger vehicles to 105 per cent
beginning Jan 1 this year.

This was done to promote the development of the car segment especially the
luxury cars, she said at the launching of the Porsche Centre Penang and
the new Porshe Cayenne for northern market at the Juru Auto-city, here

"I hope Porsche would look at Malaysia as its potential regional hub in
the future and I would like to see others, such as Ferrari as well to do
the same. Malaysia welcome all these people to make our country as their
hub," she said.

At the moment, Porshe has set up its Asia Pacific office in Singapore.

However, Rafidah said that imported cars would not in any way jeopardise
the locally assembled and produced cars including the national cars.

"The imported cars are small in number and it would not in any way compete
with the local cars. They have their own respective class," she added.

Moving on, Rafidah said developments in the global automotive industry
were interesting not only in terms of cosolidation amongst global car
manufacturers and nationalization of markets, but also the introduction of
best practices in the industry, across the entire value chain, from design
to production and the after-sales service.

She said new features being installed in the new generation of
automobiles, enabled by new and sophisticated technology such as in the
area of electronics, would require new approaches in the servicing of the

The service centres should not only be adequately equipped with the
necessary equipment and gadgets, they must also be manned by people who
have been properly trained and kept informed of the latest developments in
automotive technology.

Rafidah said the government had approved 10 investments in the automotive
sector totalling RM206.2 million for the first three months this year and
out of that investment, 92.6 per cent (RM191.1 million) were domestic
while foreign investments make up the 7.4 per cent (RM15.1 million).

She said out of the 10 projects, six were new and the other four were
expansion and diversification projects.

In 2006, 49 projects had been approved with a total investment of RM532.4

Rafidah said for the first three months of 2007, total exports of
motorcars (CBU) increased by 73.2 per cent to 5,801 units from 3,349 units
in the corresponding period last year.

Total imports decreased by 35.2 per cent to 3,349 units from 5,167 units
in the same period last year, she added.

In 2006, Malaysia's exports of motocars (CBU) exceeded imports by 4,637
units. Exports increased by 37.4 per cent to 17,944 units from 13,062
units in 2005 whilst imports declined by 53.3 per cent to 12,862 units
from 27,523 units in 2005.

Major export destinations for CBU cars were the United Kingdom, Australia,
Syria, South Africa and Singapore.


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