China, Malaysia to develop 1st next-generation vehicle hub in Southeast Asia

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Malaysian government agency said Tuesday that the country is collaborating with China companies and organizations to develop the first next-generation vehicle (NxGV) hub in the Southeast Asian region.


Photo: CGTN

The Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), an agency under Malaysian International Trade and Industry, said in a statement on Tuesday that the institute had signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC), Malaysian conglomerate DRB-HICOM and the country's national car maker Proton, on a strategic cooperation that adds new value dimensions to the development of NxGV hub within Malaysia and the region.

According to the statement, the MoUs focus on the development of NxGV testing facilities in Malaysia.

The MoU between MARii and CATARC was inked to focus on knowledge and expertise transfer, standardization of technical standards and the construction of facilities within the test center, for the establishment of a full-fledged NxGV test center in Malaysia to enhance domestic capabilities in the development and testing of NxGVs within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.

As testing and homologation is a logistically sensitive item in the development of any vehicle, both parties are working to offer full-fledged testing solutions according to latest NxGV technology developments, in line with safety regulations, policies and standards, said MARii chief executive officer Madani Sahari.

"This MoU is an important milestone for Malaysia in its progress to be a NxGV hub in the ASEAN region," he added.

CATARC general manager Zhou Hua said the collaboration will unlock the access to the ASEAN market.

"The expertise of our business, especially in terms of testing and certification, could be shared to the Malaysian and ASEAN automotive industries in the foreseeable future," he said.

As for the MoU between Proton and CATARC, it will potentially enable the Malaysian car company to collaborate with and leverage on the latter's research and development facilities, especially in the areas of testing related activities.

China's automaker Geely acquired 49.9 percent of Proton from DRB-HICOM in 2017.

Combined with Proton's own research and development activities, the cooperation could boost the Company's product line-up and accelerate the incorporation of new technologies in line with Malaysia's NxGV aspirations, said the statement.