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  • Bermaz Auto says it will absorb SST for Mazda vehicles booked before, but delivered after, Sept 1

    Car prices are anticipated to increase with the reintroduction of the sales and service tax (SST) on September 1, but one distributor says it will absorb the sales tax for vehicles booked before September 1 but delivered after that date, The Star reports.

    Official Mazda distributor Bermaz Auto said that it will honour all bookings made for Mazda vehicles before SST kicks in by absorbing the tax and not passing it on to customers. The company said that models like the CX-9 now had a waiting list stretching up to December.

    “It will not be fair to our customers if we were to pass on the tax to them, as they had made their bookings before the SST is introduced,” an unnamed Bermaz official told the publication. He added that the move to absorb the sales tax was also part of how the company builds brand loyalty.

    Presently, savings for Mazda models as a result of zero-rated GST range from RM4,221 for the Mazda 2 mid spec, all the way up to RM16,784.29 for the CX-9 AWD.

  • MAA reiterates that car prices set to increase with SST

    Back to regular programming, following the lovely false alarm brought about by what turned out to be an erroneous news report, which said that car prices were set to remain unchanged from September 1, which it won’t be. And so, the window of opportunity continues to close fast on consumers still shopping for a vehicle during the three-month tax holiday period.

    Such is the surge in demand that waiting lists for many models are now two to three months long, and many deliveries are expected to occur once the sales and service tax (SST) is reintroduced. Buyers who take delivery of their new cars from September 1 will have to pay more for their car, the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) said.

    Its president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said that any new vehicle delivered and registered after September 1 will have SST imposed, regardless of when the booking for the booking was made. She reiterated what she said in May, that car prices are likely to go up with SST.

    “When GST was introduced, prices went down for most car models, so from GST to SST you know for sure that there will be a price increase,” she said, adding that car companies were waiting for details of the new SST mechanism before they can finalise any pricing changes. “Once we know that then we will be able to know the exact amount of the increase,” she explained.

    She added that there was no way the industry could produce more units to meet the increased demand or beat the deadline. “When it comes to producing vehicles, there is always a four-month lead time. You need the CKD packs, and the vendors to be able to build them. With zero-rated GST, we only knew about it in May, and there’s no way you can increase and request for production to ramp up or have your vendors do more. So, whatever is in stock and in the pipeline is what we can sell,” she said.

    Aishah said concerns regarding the impact of SST is the reason why the association has revised its total industry volume (TIV) forecast of 590,000 units to 585,000 units for the year. She said that the surge in demand from June to August is expected to be offset by slower sales in the final quarter of the year.

  • VIDEO: Proton SUV to have Malaysian design flavours

    The launch of Proton’s first ever SUV is upon us. You’ve seen multiple photos of its donor car, the Geely Boyue, and you also know that the SUV will come with a chockfull of features, namely voice command, adaptive cruise control, 360-degree three-dimensional view and Autonomous Emergency Braking. But what about its design?

    Well, we recently had a chat with Geely Design’s design director Guy Burgoyne, who said “I think it’s fair to say that – it’s obvious that when we developed the Boyue to start with, the knowledge of the synergy with Proton was on the table. We have some very happy coincidences.” Of course, one of the coincidences is the feline element – the Boyue’s design was inspired by a leaping cat, and Proton is a car brand with the tiger motif.

    Guy also said despite having a globally desirable product, he thinks he can still deliver some local flavours that are appropriate for Proton. And no, the designers won’t stick a keris or anything jarring like that.

    Proton’s chief designer Azlan Othman also added: “It will have a unique story to it, when we showcase our version of the Boyue. It will have that relationship to our heritage, our culture. It may not be very large like Guy mentioned, we shouldn’t have a piece of keris stuck on the car, but the notion of having these characters – that’s the uniqueness that will make us Malaysian, in that sense.”

    Are you excited for the Proton SUV? If Tun Dr Mahathir is impressed, maybe you will be too. Thoughts?

    GALLERY: Geely Boyue facelift

  • Only components for CKD cars are SST exempt, finished product to have sales tax – customs

    The Royal Malaysian Customs Department has issued a statement clarifying reports on cars being exempt from sales tax (SST). The goods that are exempt from SST are components for CKD assembly, and not the CKD cars themselves. The finished product, which is the car, is liable for SST.

    “Customs would like to explain that passenger cars have always been in the plan for sales tax. However, some parties have misinterpreted the list (list of SST exempted goods that was released today) that was released without referring to Customs,” said director-general Datuk Seri Datuk Subromaniam Tholasy.

    “Items that are exempted from sales tax in the list refers to components that are used for the assembly of completely knocked down (CKD) passenger cars. When the vehicle made from the imported CKD components is finished, the finished vehicle is liable to sales tax. With this explanation, Customs hope that the issue is closed and does not confuse the rakyat and consumers,” Subromaniam added.

    The clarification by the Customs follows reports that cars will be exempt from SST once the new tax system kicks in from September 1, first reported by Malaysiakini. Now, with the matter clarified, it’s likely that we will see higher car prices come September 1, after factoring in SST, as expected.

    However, the SST rate is yet to be finalised. Yesterday, finance minister Lim Guan Eng said that there will also be two different rates of 5% and 10% for sales tax, which is applicable to selected manufactured and imported products. He added that details will be announced when the new SST Bill is tabled in parliament next month.

  • G05 BMW X5 flaunts xGravel mode, BMW Digital Key

    The fourth-generation G05 BMW X5 made its global debut early last month, ahead of its global market introduction in November this year. We’ve all seen the American-made Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) in pictures, but BMW has finally released a video depicting some of its features and capabilities out in the open world.

    The video itself is pretty and visually impressive, all while communicating the X5’s breadth of talents and flexibility. It starts out in the city (where most X5s in the world call home, really) with a man in suit, then dramatically progresses to mountainous B-roads before being taken off-road in xGravel mode, no less. Those who really intend to go off-road can specify the X5 with Off-Road Package, which ironically is a first for a BMW X model.

    Other fancy features that were illustrated include a full-colour heads-up display, along with caller ID, Welcome Light Carpet, BMW Digital Key and of course, the brand new cabin with redesigned iDrive controls.

    To recap, the new X5 is larger than the F15 model it replaces, featuring more prominent kidney grilles, slimmer adaptive LED headlights (BMW Laserlights is optional), varying wheel sizes from 19 to 22 inches, as well as a brand new rump with slim LED tail lights. Four engine variants are available – a V8 petrol engine for the X5 xDrive50i (not available in Europe), a six-cylinder petrol in the X5 xDrive40i and two six-pot diesels in the X5 M50d and the X5 xDrive30d.

    The X5 xDrive50i packs a 4.4 litre litre V8 that produces 462 hp and 650 Nm from 1,500 to 4,750 rpm, which is good for a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 4.7 seconds. All turbocharged engines feature the latest exhaust gas treatment tech, including a gasoline particulate filter or SCR catalyst, and meet the EU6d-Temp standard. An eight-speed Steptronic auto is standard.

    Inside, it gets a much improved and simplified dashboard with BMW Live Cockpit Professional display and control concept (standard fit). iDrive is linked to a fully digital instrument cluster and 12.3-inch Control Display that works via controller, voice control or gesture control. Other noteworthy features include seats with massage function, four-zone climate control, panoramic glass roof (23% larger glass surface), Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System and rear-seat entertainment with 10.2-inch touchscreen display.


  • Child seat ruling may not be enforced in 2019 – Loke

    The ruling on the mandatory use of child seats, which was supposed to be introduced in 2019, may not be enforced after all, according to transport minister Anthony Loke. As reported by the The Star, Loke said the Pakatan Harapan government was not bound to implement the ruling, which was made by the previous Barisan Nasional government.

    “The announcement by the previous government on this matter may not be necessarily be implemented or enforced. The ministry needs to relook at the ruling and determine its practicality,” said Loke after visiting the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) in Kajang.

    When the idea was first mooted, former transport minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said car owners travelling with young children would be compelled to have child seats in their vehicles by 2019. He also cited parents’ lackadaisical attitude towards the use of child seat usage, and that public awareness must be prioritised and improved before any sort of enforcement can commence.

    Well, whether or not the ruling comes into play, it shouldn’t deter yourself – more so if you are a parent – from going the extra mile in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of your children. Too many innocent lives have been lost from this negligence, and it’s them who are at stake, not the amount of money you have left in your bank account.

    We at strongly believe that under no condition should a child (or any individual for that matter) ever be left unsecured in a moving vehicle. Kids who weigh under 25 kg (weight is a more accurate measure than age) must be placed in a child seat (Group 0+, 1 and 2, fitted in a rear-facing position for as long a period as possible), and those under 36 kg should be secured with seat belts, together with either a booster seat or booster cushion (Group 3). These are absolute necessities, not optional.

    Also, it’s crucial that they be seated in the back, and not at the front. This is to position your kids away from the front airbags in case an accident happens. You should only ever place a child seat or booster seat in the front if your car has a front passenger airbag off switch (not all cars come with this feature), but treat this as your last resort.

    Of course, never hold your child on your lap when sitting in front, or worse, driving. Your arms alone won’t be enough in restraining your child in a collision, plus you would also be subjecting them to the full force of the deploying airbag. This could potentially cause the child a broken neck, a fractured skull and other severe injuries. Lest you forget, you too, will be in harm’s way.

    Once again, folks, there’s no guarantee that using a child seat would save a child’s life in the event of an accident, but the chances of survival are immensely higher, that’s for sure. Let us all be a bit more proactive when it comes to the safety of our children, shall we? For a better insight into child safety seats, watch the video below.

  • Porsche reports encouraging interest for Taycan EV

    Porsche began taking expressions of interest earlier this month for its first fully-electric vehicle, the Taycan, despite the fact that the production car hasn’t been unveiled yet. The Autocar report says that customers were keen to reserve early cars, said Porsche UK managing director Alexander Pollich.

    “The reaction from customers has been fantastic – from the moment we announced the car to now, when we have asked customers to register their interest for the first cars,” Pollich said.

    “The next 18 months will be fascinating, as we develop and reveal the car, but what is already clear is that customers are keen. They are talking to our dealers asking how to get to the top of the priority lists and asking to access more information,” adding that Porsche’s beginning in 1898 with an electric vehicle provided some inspiration.

    The Taycan was first previewed by the marque’s Mission E concept, and is powered by two permanently synchronous motors (PSM) which together provide a total system output of 600 PS; the 0-100 km/h sprint is done in less than 3.5 seconds, and 0-200 km/h is completed in less than 12 seconds, the company claims.

    The Taycan offers a battery range of 500 km on a single charge (NEDC), and the 800 V fast charging setup enables a four-minute charge to yield 100 km of range. Built on a new J1 architecture for EV models, the Taycan’s platform is different from the C-BEV platform planned to underpin Audi’s forthcoming e-tron SUV, and will be future-proofed to enable a fast-charge to 80% capacity in 15 minutes.

    Despite their differences in construction, the Taycan and e-tron will feature similar battery technology, said Porsche chairman Oliver Blume to Autocar. Additionally, Porsche is working to provide the Taycan with software that will enable over-the-air updates, like Tesla does with the Model S.

    GALLERY: Porsche Taycan

    GALLERY: Mark Webber tests the Taycan

  • Bosch is leading motorcycle safety technology

    Many know Bosch for its safety solutions in cars but the German firm is also leading the way in motorcycle safety technology, or what it terms “Mobility Solutions.” Acknowledging motorcyclists are probably the most vulnerable of road users by population size, Bosch is developing safety technology for two-wheelers to decrease the possibility of accidents.

    One of these pieces of high-tech kit is Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) which adjusts vehicle speed to the flow of traffic while maintaining a safe stopping distance. Much like the system found in four-wheelers, ACC for motorcycles allows the rider to focus attention on the road, especially in dense traffic conditions.

    In the encounter between a car and a motorcycle, the bike always comes worse off. This is dictated by physics. Bosch’s collision warning system alleviates this by sensing when another vehicle is dangerously close and if the rider does not take evasive action, warning is given via an optical or acoustic signal.

    More and more cars come with blind spot warning systems and the same technology is moving into two-wheelers. A radar sensor scans for surrounding vehicles when the bike is on the move, looking for objects in the rider’s blind spot and giving a warning when necessary.

    Several companies are coming up with vehicle-to-vehicle (V-to-V) communications systems although there has been no mandate from manufacturers or authorities to make such technology compulsory. However, Bosch is forging ahead with its own version of V-to-V for motorcycles, designed to function as a digital shield.

    Using the ITS G5 public WLAN standard, vehicles within a radius of several hundred meters exchange information about vehicle type, speed, position, and direction of travel. This allows vehicles to warn each other of approaching vehicles, allow for defensive driving and better anticipation of potential collisions.

    A potential life saver in Bosch’s arsenal of motorcycle technology is eCall which transmits an emergency call when it senses the rider is involved in a crash. For non-emergency situations such as breakdowns or accidents without injury, eCall independently calls a repair centre and sends necessary data for a rescue.

  • Nissan Leaf Nismo to go on sale in Japan on July 31

    The production version of the Nissan Leaf Nismo is set to go on sale in Japan on July 31, several months after it was first presented in concept form back in October 2017.

    On the exterior, the Leaf Nismo is identified by its aero kit that is said to improve downforce without causing increased drag. Items include a new front bumper with a lower splitter, side skirting and a more pronounced diffuser for the rear. Elsewhere, you’ll also find a more prominent rear fog light, Nismo emblems, darkened headlamps and black side mirrors. Nine body colours are available.

    The interior adopts a sportier look too, with an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, a gunmetal finish for the electronic shifter, dedicated instrument gauges, carbon-like trim, more Nismo badging and plenty of red accents (air-con vents, seats and start-stop switch).

    It isn’t just the aesthetics that are improved, as the Leaf Nismo comes with a set of 18-inch wheels wrapped with Continental ContiSportContact 5 tyres and custom settings for the electric power steering, suspension, brakes, Vehicle Dynamics Control, Intelligent Trace Control, ABS and tuning computer. That last bit is said to provide the car with more responsive acceleration.

    No word on whether the Leaf Nismo gets more power but it is likely to retain the 110kW (148 hp) and 320 Nm electric motor the normal Leaf, powered by the same 40kWh battery pack.

  • SST exemption for CKD vehicle packs only – report

    UPDATE: Story has been revised from the initial source report, which contained errors, to denote that SST exemption will only be for locally-assembled CKD vehicles packs, an exemption that has always been in place even with the old system.

    Earlier today, Malaysiakini reported that car prices were set to remain, based on a list released by customs department director-general Datuk Seri Subromaniam Tholasy, which revealed that passenger motor vehicles are among the items that will be exempted from the sales and services tax (SST).

    We have since learnt that the the proposed exemption list released today does not mean that there will be no SST being imposed on cars at point of sale. The exemption with regards to motor vehicles only applies to CKD packs – for sedans, four-wheel drives, station wagons and racing cars – and not the final assembled vehicles, so SST will still be factored into pricing when the time comes.

    This being the case, car prices – which were revised as of June 1 following the zero-rating of the goods and services tax (GST) – are now expected to increase as of September 1 when SST makes its official return.

    Finance minister Lim Guan Eng has said that there will be two different rates of 5% and 10% for sales tax, which is applicable to selected manufactured and imported products. Details will be announced when the new SST Bill is tabled in parliament next month.

    The customs department has issued a statement to clarify the whole matter.


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Last Updated 19 Jul 2018


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