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  • Jokowi confident that Tesla will invest in Indonesia

    Earlier this month, it was reported that Tesla was close to a preliminary deal to set up of a production plant in Indonesia, and while nothing has yet emerged of it, Indonesian president Joko Widodo remains confident that Tesla will invest in a production facility in the republic, Reuters reports.

    In its bid to get the US electric carmaker in, Indonesia has been offering the company plenty of incentives, including a concession to mine nickel. “I said to him that if you invest in Indonesia, I will give the concession of nickel,” Jokowi said. Other incentives include tax breaks and a subsidy scheme on EV purchases to build a market for Tesla in the country, he said.

    Saying that his ministers were finalising the subsidies, Jokowi said he was “confident” Indonesia had the edge over other countries Tesla might be considering for investment, because it has the largest nickel reserves and a big domestic market.

    Jokowi said it was up to Tesla to take up the offer to mine nickel, adding that the country is open to investment in the EV battery and electric car supply chain as an initial step. “If they want to start from EV battery production, it’s OK,” he said.

    The country has been wooing Tesla to invest in battery and car manufacturing since 2020. Initial talks about a ‘potential investment‘ came to light in October that year, with Jokowi stating the following month that a high-level team would be sent to meet with the EV maker’s top executives.

    In February 2021, the republic revealed that it received an investment proposal from Tesla with a focus on EV battery manufacture. Plans for a battery factory in Indonesia were not to be, however. Despite this, Jokowi’s desire for Tesla to produce its cars, not just batteries, in Indonesia remained unabated, and in April last year, Indonesia resumed talks with Tesla for EV and battery manufacturing.

    The Indonesian president also personally stepped into the wooing process, speaking to Elon Musk twice, the first in person when he visited the SpaceX facility in Texas last year and later, via a telephone call.

    Indonesia isn’t the only country in the game. The report by the news agency adds that South Korea, Canada and Mexico are also vying for Tesla to invest in manufacturing. Earlier this week, a spokesman for Mexico’s president said that the company was considering setting up an assembly plant near a new Mexico City airport.

    Analysts have said Mexico could have an edge to win the Tesla investment because of its proximity to the carmaker’s main market, which is the US, and because vehicles built there could qualify for Biden administration consumer tax credits. If Tesla were to invest in battery production in Indonesia, it would be its first such facility in Asia.

  • MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad passes away at 71

    The Malaysian automotive industry was rocked today by news of the passing of Datuk Aishah Ahmad Badjunaid, the president of the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA). In an official release, the association said Aishah passed away peacefully on February 2, 2023 morning in Jeddah and will be buried in Saudi Arabia today.

    “Datuk Aishah’s passing is indeed a great loss, not only to all members of the Malaysian Automotive Association but also the entire automotive industry,” read the release.

    “Highly respected within the local automotive industry as well as by her foreign counterparts in ASEAN, APEC and the Malaysian government, Datuk Aishah was a legend and one of the leading automotive personalities who devoted the best years of her life contributing to the growth and development of the Malaysian automotive industry with her vision, dedication, and passion,” it continued.

    Aishah has held her position since 1991 (MAA was previously known as the Malaysian Motor Traders Association of MMTA) and led MAA to become the leading automotive industry association in the country.

    “Under her stewardship, the MAA had grown in terms of stature, memberships and resources. With her leadership and strong commitment, the association has engaged in numerous dialogues, discussions and proposals with the government to resolve industrial issues and review policies to support the expansion and sustenance of automotive industry in Malaysia,” the association said in its release.

    In addition to her role as the president of MAA, 71-year-old Aishah is also the chairman of the Automotive Federation Malaysia (AFM) since 1998. AFM is the umbrella association for MAA, the Malaysian Automotive Component Parts Manufacturers (MACPMA) and Motorcycle and Scooter Assemblers & Distributors Association of Malaysia (MASAAM).

    At the regional level, Aishah served as president of the ASEAN Automotive Federation (AAF) for three terms and helped grow the organisation’s stature and size. One of the highlights of her AAF president from 2015 to 2017 was successfully managing to recruit the Automotive Association of Myanmar (AAM) and Cambodia Automotive Industry Federation (CAIF) as members, bringing the complete ten ASEAN member states industry associations into AAF.

    A titan in her own right, Aishah has been involved in the automotive industry for over 40 years, making her one of the longest serving individuals in the field. Her illustrious career started in the mid-1970s with Inchcape Group of Companies in Malaysia, followed by positions in Ford Malaysia and Tractors Malaysia before retiring at Sime Darby Motors – she still continued to serve as a board member at the Sime Darby Group after retiring.

    With news of her Aishah’s passing, DRB-Hicom also issued a statement mourning the loss of the MAA president, with DRB-Hicom group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar saying she was is irreplaceable and that her legacy is the impact she made on the industry she so loved.

    “Her leadership, vision, and dedication in running the MAA have made a lasting impact on the industry and she will be remembered as a tireless champion for the growth and development of the automotive sector in Malaysia. Her passing is a great loss to the industry and the entire community,” Syed Faisal said. “DRB-Hicome extends its deepest sympathies to Datuk Aishah’s family, friends and colleagues. May Allah bless her soul and place her in Jannah,” the statement read.

    We at are also saddened by the passing of Datuk Aishah Ahmad Badjunaid and will miss her welcoming nature, insights and engaging discussions with members of the media. We offer our deepest condolences to her family.


  • 2023 Audi RS e-tron GT seen undisguised in Malaysia before Q2 launch – 598 PS, 830 Nm, 487 km EV range

    The Audi RS e-tron GT has been sighted in Malaysia ahead of a planned in Q2 this year, with this example being sighted at EQ Kuala Lumpur. PHS Automotive Malaysia’s (PHSAM), which is the official distributor of Audi vehicles in the country, previously announced that it would introduce a range of e-tron electric vehicles and has already begun accepting registrations of interest.

    The 2022 World Performance Car of the Year first made its debut back in 2021 and is based on the J1 platform that is also used by the Porsche Taycan. With two electric motors for all-wheel drive, the RS e-tron GT has a total system output of 598 PS (590 hp or 440 kW) 830 Nm of torque, with boost mode bumping power up briefly to 646 PS (637 hp or 475 kW).

    In terms of performance, the RS e-tron GT takes 3.3 seconds to get from 0-100 km/h on its way to a speed of 250 km/h. As for range, the 85-kWh lithium battery provides 487 km (WLTP) and supports DC fast charging (CCS2) thanks to the 800-volt electrical architecture. The maximum DC input is 270 kW, which can get the battery from a 5-80% state of charge in just 22.5 minutes. There’s also AC charging (Type 2) up to 22 kW (upgradable from 11 kW).

    Besides the RS e-tron GT, PHSAM will also offer the standard e-tron GT quattro that also has a dual-motor setup, albeit providing 476 PS (469 hp or 350 kW) and 630 Nm, or 530 PS (523 hp or 390 kW) when boost mode is engaged. The non-RS variant requires 4.1 seconds to complete the century sprint and has a slightly lower top speed of 245 km/h.

    We don’t have Malaysian pricing just yet, but in Germany, the e-tron GT quattro starts from 104,000 euros (RM483,172), while the RS e-tron GT is from 142,500 euros (RM666,184). With current EV incentives in play, how much do you think Audi’s electric sportback will retail for when it is launched here?

  • Grab drivers to go on strike today? Association unhappy with latest fare revision, claim earnings lower

    Grab drivers might go on strike later today. The Grab Drivers Malaysia Association (GDMA) is meeting today and will decide on the steps to take in protesting the latest rate revision by the company, according to Utusan Malaysia.

    “If we go to the Grab Driver Centre to strike without discussing it first and when the question-and-answer time comes, we have no facts to back us up against the management. Because of that, we ask for some time so that we can gather information,” said GDMA vice-president Mohd Azril Ahmat.

    Grab recently adjusted its fare system, lowering distance charges from 70 sen to 25 sen per km. This is balanced out by increasing time charges from 20 sen to 43 sen per minute. Grab said that its driver-partners stand to gain from the new rates as they would be paid higher during rush hours even for shorter distances, as cars are stuck in traffic jams.

    The Utusan report said that Grab drivers are not satisfied and have claimed a 65% drop in earnings per km. It adds that the drivers insist that congestion is infrequent and mostly happens only in KL and Selangor.

    Anyone else feel that Grab rides have gone up in price and are rather expensive these days, or is it just me?

  • 2023 MotoGP: Winter Test returns to Sepang Circuit

    Consecutive weekends for MotoGP testing at Sepang International Circuit (SIC) on the weekends of Sunday, February 5 to 7, and Friday, February 10 to 12. Entrance to the grandstand from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm is free for the public with registration attendance using the attached QR code.

    Additionally, there will be a Pitlane Walk for fans in the grandstand from 6.30 to 7.00 p.m. on February 10 and 11, limited to the first 1,000 registered Grandstand ticket holders per day. Parking at the SIC Mall area is RM10 for cars and RM5 for motorcycles, while parking at the’PX’ and ‘P’ parking areas is RM5 for cars and RM2 for motorcycles, with parking at all other areas is free.

    This will be the first shakedown test for 2023, with many of the MotoGP teams bringing out brand new racing machines after the testing moratorium over the duration of the 2020 to 2022 Covid-19 pandemic.
    Winter Test proper, which happens February 10 to 12, will be when wheels are turned in anger, with teams eager to show dominance over rivals.

    For Malaysian MotoGP fans, early bird tickets with a 15% discount for the 2023 Petronas Grand Prix of Malaysia on November 10 to 12 are available and the promotion is valid until March 31. Ticket prices start at RM122.20 for the F Grandstand, RM175.30 for K1, RM293.30 for the Main Grandstand, RM361.30 for the Marc Marquez Tribune, RM433.50 for Premier Roving, and RM544.00 for Premier Seat.

  • Zeekr X revealed as brand’s third model – all-new EV crossover is larger than the smart #1; from RM127k est

    After some teasing, Zeekr has released the first official photos of its third model without any camouflage. Instead of being called the 003, Geely’s offshoot electric vehicle company has chosen to call its new offering the Zeekr X, which is a little surprising given its first two models are called the 001 and 009.

    Details are limited for now, but Chinese media outlets report that the fully electric crossver will make its public debut at the Shanghai Auto Show in April before going on sale within the year – the expected starting price is from 200,000 yuan (RM126,560).

    Built on Geely’s Scalable Electric Architecture (SEA) that is also used by the smart #1, the X measures 4,450 mm long, 1,836 mm wide and 1,572 mm, with a wheelbase that spans 2,750 mm. While the overall length is more than previously expected, the X’s wheelbase is identical to the #1. It also also longer by 180 mm and wider by 14 mm, although the height is down by 64 mm.

    In terms of styling, the X is certainly striking to look at with its distinctive LED daytime running lights that bear resemblance to those on the 009. The DRLs are part of a two-tier lighting setup, with the main headlamps (featuring matrix lighting technology) flanking the camera on the closed-off “grille.”

    Meanwhile, vertical air curtains at the edges of the bumper are accompanied by additional black trim and extend towards the trapezoidal-shaped intake in the lower apron. The bonnet also gets prominent creases, as do the vehicle’s sides that sport black body cladding.

    You’ll also notice the curious perch points of the side mirrors and beltline that sweeps up towards the thick C-pillars. Progressing towards the rear, the roofline gently slopes down towards a roof spoiler and rather upright window, the latter joined by full-width taillights at its base. Other elements are a diffuser-like lower apron and vertical reflectors that mimic what you see at the front.

    Based on spyshots, the X’s dashboard is styled in a minimalistic manner, with a nearly vertical dashboard that houses a small digital instrument cluster and large touchscreen infotainment system. The centre console between the front seats is kept separate from the centre stack and carries an armrest as well as storage cubbies.

    Reports suggest the X will get the same powertrain options as the #1, with single-motor, rear-wheel drive and dual-motor, all-wheel drive setups. Power outputs range from 272 PS (268 hp or 200 kW) to 428 PS (422 hp or 315 kW), and the battery will likely have an energy capacity of 66 kWh.

  • Welcome the Year of the Rabbit with the best deals on a variety of cars from Sime Darby Motors this weekend

    Welcome the Year of the Rabbit with an exciting new ride and enjoy the best deals at Sime Darby Motors’ Chinese New Year open house. Happening this weekend from February 4-5, 2023, head on over to Sime Darby Motors City to experience a wide range of makes and vehicles.

    BMW fans can enjoy enticing rebates* and low interest rates* from Auto Bavaria. From the capable 2 Series Gran Coupe to the stately X7, BMW cars blend performance, style, comfort and technology to deliver sheer driving pleasure. The familiar is made even more electrifying in the realm of BMW i, with the iX3 being an impressive electric vehicle that seamlessly integrates into your life.

    Should you need to retire your used car, you’ll also be afforded a high trade-in value. Peace of mind ownership is also assured when you pick up the keys to your new BMW, as you’ll be provided a five-year, unlimited mileage with free scheduled service. With BMW i electric vehicles, the high-voltage battery is covered for eight years or 160,000 km.

    If two-wheeled BMWs are more your cup of tea, Auto Bavaria has the largest network of BMW Motorrad dealerships in Malaysia and is offering hassle-free financing packages as well as a three-year warranty on motorcycles.

    For those who have always wanted to enter the quirky and fun world of MINI, exceptional rebates*, a high trade-in value for your used car and attractive freebies* await you when you take that step. To make sure your time in a MINI is enjoyable, a four-year warranty with free service accompanies any model you purchase.

    The electric vehicle scene is booming, and one of the most anticipated models to be launched is the BYD Atto 3. With prices starting from RM149,800, the Atto 3 delivers in terms of performance and range, with high levels of standard equipment. To sweeten things further, Sime Darby Beyond Auto is providing a warranty package that covers the vehicle for six years/150,000 km. This is on top of the Blade battery warranty of eight years/160,000 km and drive system warranty of eight years/150,000 km.

    Shifting to something with Scandinavian flair, Sime Darby Swedish Auto is offering a complimentary digital video recorder (DVR) and VSA3+ package for selected models. With the Volvo Service Agreement (VSA3+), it’s not just the first three scheduled maintenance services that are covered, but also certain wear and tear items.

    Moving on Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Sime Darby Auto ConneXion (SDAC) has a range of certified units of the iconic Defender up for grabs from as low as RM538k*. There are also ready stocks of the 2023 Range Rover Velar and Discovery Sport available, and all new JLR vehicles come with a complimentary five-year warranty and servicing, plus three years of roadside assistance.

    Fan of the pick-up truck will be glad to know that SDAC is also offering cash rebates or a free service package with the next-generation Ford Ranger XLT Plus**. The latest Ranger boasts an even more imposing design that highlights its off-road capabilities, while still being well equipped for the daily drive.

    Over at Hyundai, rebates of up to RM8,000 are available for selected models*. Existing Hyundai Loyalty Card holders and Hyundai i-Care Plus members aren’t left out either, as Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors is offering up to 20% off on selected parts and 15% off on labour charges.

    Buyers looking to score a good deal on a used car can head on over to Sime Darby Auto Selection, where attractive Chinese New Year deals and competitive prices are on offer. Additionally, enjoy a complimentary service package* and extended warranty programme* with your purchase, and just like with some of the brands mentioned, a high trade-in value is provided when you are looking to switch up.

    With so many good deals on offer from Sime Darby Motors, there’s no better time to add a new car to your life. To find out more, contact the following numbers:

    *Terms and conditions apply. Offers may vary across BMW, Ford, JLR and Hyundai models.
    **For 2022 model year units only.

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  • No KL Car Free Morning this Sun due to Thaipusam

    The KL Car Free Morning (KLCFM) working committee has announced that there will be no KLCFM this Sunday, February 5. The weekly Sunday morning open circuit around the city has been cancelled as this Sunday is Thaipusam, a public holiday.

    Fans of the KLCFM – where 7km of city centre roads are blocked off to traffic to allow cyclists, runners and skaters full freedom on Sunday mornings – will have to wait for further announcement for the next event.

    Speaking of Thaipusam, KTM has announced that its Komuter trains will run for 24 hours over a three days and two nights period for the upcoming festival. It’s for people wanting to get to Batu Caves without braving the jams. Details and schedule here.

  • Volvo Car Malaysia to begin exporting cars made in Shah Alam to the Philippines and Vietnam this year

    Volvo Car Malaysia (VCM) has announced plans to export vehicles to Vietnam and the Philippines this year as part of efforts to transform Malaysia into an electric vehicle hub. Last year, the company began sending cars to Indonesia with the Swedish brand’s return to the country (through PT Leading Vision Otomotif) – Thailand has been on its export list for some time now.

    “Volvo Car Malaysia’s ambition towards an all-electric Malaysia is steadily becoming a reality. Our assembly plant here in Malaysia plays an important role in our electrification ambition as we bring our electric vehicles to two more ASEAN countries – Vietnam and the Philippines. The exportation of our locally assembled electric vehicles is one of our many steps to propel Malaysia becoming a hub for electric vehicles in the ASEAN region,” said Charles Frump, managing director of VCM.

    At present, both the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric and C40 Recharge Pure Electric are locally assembled (CKD) in Shah Alam, with the former being the first to be launched in March last year – the C40 arrived later in December.

    These EVs are produced by Volvo Car Manufacturing Malaysia, which is the country’s oldest and longest-running vehicle assembly plant – it was previously known as Swedish Motor Assemblies from 1967 until the early 2010s before becoming a subsidiary company of the Volvo Car Corporation. It should be noted that VCM was first premium car company to offer a full range of CKD plug-in hybrid vehicles and the first to CKD EVs in the country.

    The company already said it is targeting for 75% of its sales to come from the Recharge Pure Electric line-up by 2025, and to become a fully electric car company by 2030. The EX90 has been hinted to our market and will likely be made available in the near future.

    Another initiative is the introduction of an online sales platform that enables customers to directly make a purchase with the company and securely make their payments online. Frump explained previously that customers prefer to buy cars online and appreciate the transparency as well as trust to directly deal with the manufacturer, while also working together with existing dealer partners.

    VCM closed 2022 with a record of 3,194 sales, which represents a 43% increase from the previous year and a seventh consecutive year of sales growth.

  • Malaysia proposes single clearance system at Causeway to reduce congestion at JB-SG crossing

    The Causeway jam is a daily reality for many who commute daily to Singapore from Johor, two times a day, five days a week. Hours on the road before actual work starts sounds like a pain; then again, there’s always a price to pay for everything, and these Johor residents cum Singapore workers are the forex champions of the world.

    Anyway, to ease congestion at the world’s busiest land crossing, Malaysia has proposed a single clearance system, where clearance would only be done on either side of the border, once.

    “This means Singapore’s immigration officers will be stationed at our checkpoints in Johor to clear people entering the republic, while Malaysian immigration personnel will be deployed in Singapore to clear those entering Malaysia,” Johor works, transportation and infrastructure committee chairman Mohamad Fazli Mohamad Salleh told The Star.

    “This proposal is still at the initial stages. This will be similar to the system that will be used when the Rapid Transit System operations begin in 2026,” he added.

    The daily reported that during the recent visit of PM Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to the island state, Johor MB Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi appealed for the traffic situation at the Causeway to be brought under control, saying that daily commuters, which number around 150,000, have to face great inconvenience. The MB said that the majority of daily Johor-SG commuters had to get up at 4am to queue at the JB border checkpoint by 5am, and return late at night.

    Single clearance system aside, Fazli, who heads a multi-agency taskforce looking into reducing border congestion, said the southern state was seeking additional funds to increase motorcycle lanes. There’s also a proposal for lorry lanes to be used for passenger traffic during weekends.


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Last Updated 02 Feb 2023