Thursday, 29 October 2009

So you wanna buy a car in Bolehland?

What's in it for me, the man on the street (who doesn't own a chop shop, doesn't have open APs, and is not in the business of manufacturing car parts), based on the recently reviewed National Auto Policy (NAP)?

The bad news first..lots if you are a continental car lover like me.

Maintaining the import and sales tax, and excise duty. So Alfo Mito will still be RM150k++ and a Golf GTI will still be RM200k+ in the near future.

No more import of used car parts by 2011. The source of many continental car parts from Japan or Singapore. Mana nak cari parts untuk 145 boxer? Engine parts are still manageable as it shares with 146, but body parts? I probably gotta get a whole second car if I intend to keep it for long. Also parts price will skyrocket as it'll be scarce.

No more open AP after 2015. So better get the GT-R, STI, EVO, Silvia grey imports before then.

Any goodies?

As NAP allows assembling of autos >1.8L and costing >RM150,000, a VW GTI might cost cheaper due to the difference between CBU import duty and sales tax vs CKD import duty & sales tax by about 20%. For this to happen, either one of the assembly plants owned by DRB-Hicom (Pekan) or PROTON will have to tie up with major automakers. Malaysia being the biggest passenger car market in ASEAN is an attractive market, while the assembly plant owners would benefit by the higher utilisation of their plants, which some sources have quoted between 50-80% capacity utilisation.

A VW TDI will also be a possibility as the announced road map for petrol and diesel to comply with Euro 4M by 2011. The high sulphur content of current diesel Euro 2M has been a deterrent as most modern engines are designed to run on Euro 3. I once drove an Audi A4 Avant diesel with 1.9TDi. Love the pick up, 20-30% better consumption compared to a petrol, but looses breath early (5k rpm). But a killer in city traffic if you ask me.

Well both of these are big ifs, as it'll require a tie-up between automakers, which as of now, only VW seems interested, or to a certain extent, Renault.

This coupled with new fuel mechanism thats gonna track the oil price, things will not get any rosier for a continental car lover in the next few years.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Of health care reforms, election manifesto and Alfa MiTo.

Its been awhile since I blogged anything. As some of you may know, I'm kinda unemployed, but not short of things to do. Reverting to my past time of being a couch potato, I have been following the health care reform issues in the United States rather closely.

Rather than going into details of the reform, I have been more interested by the relentless pursuit of President Obama on getting a bill sorted out for the reform to work. Why has he been so relentless and determined? It was his election pledge. It has been around 9 months since his presidency, and with issues i.e Iraq, Afghan war, economic recession, piling like the office inbox I used to have, well not really, otherwise it would've been 'kacang' for him, he has been pursuing full throttle with NOS to boot. The past 2 months have been filled with public debate, wide media coverage, pros and cons of choices offered of the various issues related to health care reform.

Other than being a full time TVer, I log on to theStar every few hours or so. Lets just say I don't get a sense of urgency from either state or federal government and our lawmakers doing the same. I don't even remember what was the election manifesto of both PR and BN. Now why is that? Well one because I did not vote, since I did not manage to get on the electoral roll. Maybe the rakyat has not put a concerted effort to push for this. To let them know you guys suck. We should have a regular poll to tell these menteris, MPs, and ADUNs you guys better buck!

Maybe the silent majority has just been that, silent. But if we continue to be silent, come GE 13, who should I vote? Neither seem interested to work for a better Malaysia. Neither seem to be pushing for a better public transport. The cost of vehicle ownership is still expensive, that I cry everytime I look at car prices in the UK or US. Alfa MiTo cost RM150k in Malaysia while in the UK its £15k (convert should be ~RM90k). We still pay toll just to get stuck in jams.

Something for you and I to think about and hopefully act rather than just rant.