Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Darell Leiking, has announced that Malaysian digital engineering services firm, DreamEDGE Sdn Bhd has been chosen to lead the plan to develop the country’s third national car, in collaboration with Daihatsu Motor. This is in line with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s “Look East” comeback policy which looked to Japan as the model for Malaysia’s industrialization, announced by Mahathir after he returned to power last year.
DreamEDGE CEO Khairil Adri Adnan stated the company plans to debut a C-segment sedan model with either a pure combustion engine or a hybrid powertrain. The first model is expected to be ready by 2021 and mass production to be initiated by 2031. The company will not build a new factory but would utilize its own existing facilities and contract Manufacturing. Daihatsu Motor, which has already been deeply involved in the local auto market as the founding partner of Malaysia’s second national car, Perodua, will provide advanced technological support.
Leiking stated that DreamEDGE was chosen as it could undertake a complete process from prototyping to mass production. DreamEDGE has a Manufacturing and prototyping center in Cyberjaya, along with a research and development office in Tokyo. The company has built prototypes of electric vehicles. Daihatsu Motor Company will provide Manufacturing support but it will not acquire any stake in the project. In terms of project funding, the government will only help with licensing and support such as tax incentives, thus it will be a wholly privately funded initiative. DreamEDGE will raise funds before initiating the mass production process in 2031.
Malaysia’s first indigenous car company, Proton, was established in 1983. Its established a partnership with Mitsubishi Motors for sourcing platforms, engines, parts and technical expertise for its first cars. The second national car company, Perodua was set up in 1992.
(Sources: Free Malaysia Today; The Star Online; Malaysia-Today)